NO plays a key role in the pathological mechanisms of articular diseases. As cytoskeletal proteins are responsible for the polymerization, stabilization, and dynamics of the cytoskeleton network, we investigated whether cytoskeletal proteins are the intracellular pathological targets of NO. We aimed at clarifying whether the cytoskeleton perturbations involved in apoptosis are induced in rabbit articular chondrocytes by NO, which can be liberated by sodium nitroprusside (SNP) treatment. The first passage rabbit articular chondrocytes were cultured as monolayer for the experiments, and the effects of NO were tested in the presence of JNK-specific inhibitor, SP600125. SNP treatment of cultured chondrocytes caused significant apoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner (time and dose), as evaluated by TUNEL assay and Annexin V flow cytometry, while the apoptosis was reduced by the SP600125 addition 30 min before SNP treatment. Besides, SP600125 decreased significantly the protein expression of total caspase-3 and the intracellular gene expression of caspase-3, measured by Western blot analysis and PCR. SP600125 also increased the cytoskeletal protein expressions. These results suggested that JNK pathway plays a critical role in the NO-induced chondrocyte apoptosis, and SP600125 treatment blocks the dissolution of the cytoskeletal proteins via activation of caspase-3 pathways.