Inflammatory mediators delay neutrophil apoptosis, which contributes to the persistence of inflammation. The mechanisms responsible for this delay and resistance to Fas antibody-induced apoptosis are unknown but are dependent on protein synthesis. These proteins have been shown to inhibit caspase activity central to the induction of apoptosis. The inhibitors of apoptosis proteins have been shown to inhibit caspase activity and prevent apoptosis in a number of cellular systems. We hypothesize that the regulation of neutrophil apoptosis is dependent on the expression of the IAPs. c-IAP-1, c-IAP-2, and XIAP are expressed in the neutrophil at both the mRNA and protein level, but their relative protein expression is low compared with other cell types. The in vitro aging of human neutrophils results in their induction of apoptosis, which is associated with the loss of c-IAP-1 expression. The pancaspase inhibitor (zVAD-FMK) and LPS, which delay spontaneous apoptosis, also prevented this loss of c-IAP-1. Gene chip microarrays have shown that LPS increases c-IAP-1 and c-IAP-2 mRNA expression in neutrophils. However, this does not correspond to an increase in protein. Neutrophils from septic patients with delayed apoptosis show an increase in XIAP, with no change in cIAP-1 or cIAP-2 mRNA, demonstrating that different mechanisms contribute to the delay in neutrophil apoptosis. This study demonstrates that the loss of IAP expression may facilitate the induction of neutrophil apoptosis, and preventing this loss of IAP expression may represent a more significant contribution to delayed apoptosis rather than an increase in their expression.