Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) are directly involved in development of ischemic myocardial injury. Adhesion of PMN to endothelial cells is an initial step that triggers a sequential process leading to acute inflammatory responses. Interaction between P-selectin and its oligosaccharide ligand, sialyl Lewis x (sLex), plays an important role in the early stage of the adhesion. To examine the role of P-selectin in various animal disease models especially in rats, we have cloned rat E- and P-selectin cDNAs and established monoclonal antibodies against these rat selectins. In this report, we describe the generation and characterization of anti-rat P-selectin antibodies (ARPs). These antibodies detect cell surface P-selectin on thrombin-stimulated rat platelets. More importantly, intravenous administration of ARP2-4 reduced infarction developed after 30 min of ischemia followed by 24 h of reperfusion in a rat myocardial injury model. In addition, similar protective effect was also observed by administration of a sLex-oligosaccharide. These results indicate that cell adhesion mediated via P-selectin is involved in the development of ischemia and reperfusion injury in rat heart.