The role of P-selectin in the process of reperfusion injury was evaluated using a recombinant soluble P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-Ig (rPSGL-Ig) in a canine coronary artery balloon occlusion model. rPSGL-Ig (1 mg/kg) or saline was given as an intravenous bolus 15 min before balloon deflation. Balloon occlusion time was 90 min followed by either 120 min or 7 days reperfusion. Infarct size was significantly reduced in the treatment group when expressed either as percentage of the area at risk or as absolute infarct size. Histological analysis showed that extensive myocardial injury and neutrophil infiltration were reduced by rPSGL-Ig. Myeloperoxidase activity (MPO) was significantly reduced in the risk area in the rPSGL-Ig group. Left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly less impaired during the first 24 h after reperfusion in the rPSGL-Ig group, although there was no difference by 7-day follow-up. Thus, administration of rPSGL-Ig decreases myocardial injury and inflammatory response for at least 7 days after reperfusion of ischemic myocardium.