Neutrophil (PMN) influx into the peritoneal cavity in response to bacterial peritonitis is an indispensable aspect of host defense. PMNs also are responsible for the remote organ injury observed after major abdominal infection. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of selectin blockade on PMN migration into the peritoneum and on PMN sequestration in the lungs, early in the course of peritonitis. Cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) was performed on P-selectin-deficient (P-def) mice and their genetic controls (C57). Both groups were treated with anti-E-selectin antibody, anti-L-selectin, or isotypic control immunoglobulin G at the time of CLP. 6 h after CLP, mice were sacrificed. Peritoneal PMN migration decreased in P-def mice compared with C57 controls after CLP. Blockade of E- or L-selectin alone in controls did not alter peritoneal PMN influx or circulating PMNs after CLP. In the P-def mice, treatment with anti-E-antibody or anti-L-antibody nearly eliminated PMN influx into the peritoneum. In contrast, circulating PMNs markedly increased after CLP in P-def mice when compared with baseline values. Lung myeloperoxidase increased in all groups of mice following CLP. Blockade of P-selectin with anti-P-selectin antibody elicited a response similar to that observed in the P-def mice. In conclusion, P-selectin mediates PMN influx into the peritoneal cavity, while E- and L-selectins do not appear to play any significant role in the 6 h time period following CLP. Lung PMN sequestration, after CLP, occurred independent of P-, E-, or L-selectin expression. Blockade of P-selectin during peritonitis appears to be potentially deleterious by preventing early PMN influx into the compartment containing the septic focus.