This study was undertaken to clarify the effects of propofol on endotoxin-induced acute lung injury. Rabbits were randomly assigned to one of four groups. Each group received intravenous infusion of saline only, saline and Escherichia coli endotoxin, propofol (1 mg/kg bolus, then 5 mg/kg/hr) and endotoxin, or propofol (4 mg/kg bolus, then 20 mg/kg/hr) and endotoxin respectively. Infusion of saline or propofol was started 0.5 hr before the infusion of saline or endotoxin, and continued for 6 hr thereafter. The lungs of rabbits were ventilated with 40% oxygen. Mean blood pressure, heart rate, arterial oxygen tension (PaO2), and peripheral blood leukocyte and platelet count were recorded. The wet/dry (W/D) weight ratio of lung and lung injury score were measured, and analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was done. Endotoxin decreased PaO2, and peripheral blood leukocyte and platelet count. And it increased W/D ratio of lung, lung injury score and leukocyte count, percentage of PMN cells, concentration of albumin, thromboxane B2 and IL-8 in BALF. Propofol attenuated all these changes except the leukocyte count in peripheral blood. In conclusion, propofol attenuated endotoxin-induced acute lung injury in rabbits mainly by inhibiting neutrophil and IL-8 responses, which may play a central role in sepsis-related lung injury.