Neutrophil adherence and/or aggregation has been implicated in ischemia reperfusion injuries. We examined the role of P-selectin in PMN-mediated injury after reperfusion of the rabbit ear. The ear was partially amputated, and then reattached leaving the central artery and vein intact. To induce ischemia the central artery was then occluded. Treatment was at reperfusion with either saline or one of two murine P-selectin mAbs, designated PB1.3 and PNB1.6 mAb PB1.3 cross-reacts with rabbit P-selectin and prevents histamine-induced leukocyte rolling, whereas PNB1.6 does not. Using a peroxidase-antiperoxidase system P-selectin was detected in the ischemic ear, but not in the nonischemic ear. Ear volume increased to 5.3 times baseline in the saline-treated animals (n = 8), 6.6 times baseline in the nonblocking mAb PNB1.6-treated animals (n = 2), and 3.7 times baseline in the blocking mAb PB1.3-treated animals (n = 8). Estimated tissue necrosis of the combined saline- and PNB1.6-treated animals was 46 vs. 2.7% for the mAb PB1.3-treated animals. We conclude that: (a) P-selectin is expressed in ischemia reperfusion; (b) P-selectin participates in PMN-endothelial cell interactions in ischemia reperfusion; and (c) inhibiting P-selectin adhesion significantly reduces reperfusion injury.