The purpose of this study was to investigate alterations of phospholamban phosphorylation and its interaction with Ca2+ transport (Ca2+-ATPase activity and Ca2+ uptake) in sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) during the progression of sepsis. Sepsis was induced by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Phospholamban phosphorylation was studied by the labeling of the myocardial ATP pool by perfusing isolated rat hearts with [32P]H3PO4 followed by identification of the phosphorylated phospholamban. Results show that phospholamban phosphorylation was increased by 153% during the early hyperdynamic phase (9 h after CLP), while it was decreased by 51% during the late hypodynamic phase (18 h after CLP) of sepsis. The increase in phospholamban phosphorylation during early sepsis was associated with increases in +dP/dtmax and tissue cAMP content, while Ca2+ transport, left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), and −dP/dtmax remained unchanged. The decrease in phospholamban phosphorylation during late sepsis was accompanied by decreases in Ca2+ transport, LVDP, ±dP/dtmax, and tissue cAMP content. When isoproterenol was present in the perfusion medium, all parameters measured were stimulated in all three experimental groups (control, early sepsis, and late sepsis) except that Ca2+-ATPase activity and SR Ca2+ uptake were unresponsive in the early and the late septic groups. These findings demonstrate that during the late hypodynamic phase of sepsis, the observed decrease in myocardial contractility was due to the decrease in phospholamban phosphorylation, which resulted in decreased Ca2+ transport across the SR. In contrast, during the early hyperdynamic phase of sepsis, the increase in phospholamban phosphorylation did not correlate with increases in Ca2+ uptake and Ca2+-ATPase activity. Thus, the interaction between phospholamban phosphorylation and Ca2+ transport across the SR was disrupted during the early phase of sepsis.