Elevation of the intracellular cAMP level induces morphological changes of astrocyte-like differentiation in C6 glioma cells. Such changes may be accompanied with expression of cytoskeletal protein genes. We therefore analyzed morphological changes after a treatment with dibutyryl cAMP (dbcAMP) and then assessed the expression of cytoskeletal protein genes by a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The cell number remained unaltered upon incubation with 1 mM dbcAMP in medium supplemented with 0.1% fetal bovine serum (FBS), whereas the number and lengths of processes increased, when compared with those of cells incubated in medium supplemented with 0.1% or 10% FBS only. The amounts of β-actin, γ-actin, and β-tubulin mRNAs in C6 cells, but not α-tubulin mRNA, increased during the early proliferation in DMEM containing 10% FBS. The expression of cytoskeletal protein genes decreased when incubated with 0.1% FBS or 1 mM dbcAMP in 0.1% FBS, compared with those of cells cultured in 10% FBS. These results indicated that, during the early proliferation in normal culture condition, the expression of cytoskeletal protein genes in C6 cells, except α-tubulin, increased, while in differentiating or differentiated C6 glioma cells, cAMP-induced morphological changes were not accompanied with elevation of gene expression for cytoskeletal proteins, such as actin and tubulin.