Src family kinases (SFK) are critical for initiating and regulating the response of mast cells activated by engagement of the high-affinity IgE receptor, FcepsilonRI. Lyn is the predominant SFK in mast cells and has been ascribed both positive and negative roles in regulating mast cell activation. We analyzed the mast cell phenotype of WeeB, a recently described mouse mutant that expresses a Lyn protein with profoundly reduced catalytic activity. Surprisingly, we found that this residual activity is sufficient for wild-type levels of cytokine production and degranulation in bone marrow-derived mast cells after low-intensity stimulation with anti-IgE. High-intensity stimulation of lyn(-/-) bone marrow-derived mast cells with highly multivalent Ag resulted in enhanced cytokine production as previously reported, and WeeB cells displayed an intermediate phenotype. Under this latter condition, SFK inhibition using PP2 increased cytokine production in wild-type and WeeB but not lyn(-/-) cells, resulting in substantially higher levels in the PP2-treated WeeB than in lyn(-/-) cells. Restoration of wild-type and WeeB lyn alleles in lyn(-/-) cells generated activation phenotypes similar to those in nontransduced wild-type and WeeB cells, respectively, whereas a kinase-dead allele resulted in a phenotype similar to that of empty-vector-transduced cells. These data indicate that inhibition of Lyn and/or SFK activity can result in higher levels of mast cell activation than simple deletion of lyn and that only near-complete inhibition of Lyn can impair its positive regulatory functions. Furthermore, the data suggest that both positive and negative regulatory functions of Lyn are predominantly carried out by its catalytic activity and not an adaptor function.