The role of the chemokine, macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2), during anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) antibody (Ab) glomerulonephritis (GN) was studied. Rat MIP-2 cDNA had been cloned previously. Recombinant rat MIP-2 (rMIP-2) from Escherichia coli exhibited neutrophil chemotactic activity and produced neutrophil influx when injected into the rat bladder wall. By using a riboprobe derived from the cDNA and an anti-rMIP-2 polyclonal Ab, MIP-2 was found to be induced in glomeruli with anti-GBM Ab GN as mRNA by 30 min and protein by 4 h, with both disappearing by 24 h. The expression of MIP-2 correlated with glomerular neutrophil influx. A single dose of the anti-MIP-2 Ab 30 min before anti-GBM Ab was effective in reducing neutrophil influx (40% at 4 h, P < 0.01) and periodic acid-Schiff deposits containing fibrin (54% at 24 h, P < 0.01). The anti-rMIP-2 Ab had no effect on anti-GBM Ab binding (paired-label isotope study). Functional improvement in the glomerular damage was evidenced by a reduction of abnormal proteinuria (P < 0.05). These results suggest that MIP-2 is a major neutrophil chemoattractant contributing to influx of neutrophils in Ab-induced glomerular inflammation in the rat.