IL-8, a potent neutrophil chemoattractant that is elevated about 200-fold in exudative neutrophils isolated from localized inflammatory sites in vivo, is thought to play a major role in recruitment of neutrophils to inflammatory sites. Incubation of peripheral blood neutrophils with thapsigargin, an inhibitor of the endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-sequestering-ATPase, causes a dose-dependent induction of IL-8 synthesis that continues for up to 8 h. Cycloheximide inhibits the thapsigargin-induced IL-8 production, suggesting the induction of protein synthesis de novo. In addition, Northern blot analysis of mRNA isolated from neutrophils indicates that thapsigargin treatment increases IL-8 mRNA in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Thapsigargin also induces a biphasic rise in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration, [Ca2+]i, which is composed of an initial (within 15 s) EGTA-insensitive elevation in [Ca2+]i, followed by a delayed (2-min) EGTA-sensitive component. Addition of EGTA before thapsigargin inhibited the induction of IL-8 production. Experiments in which EGTA was added at various times after thapsigargin treatment indicated that a sustained Ca2+ influx was required for maximum IL-8 production. Ascomycin and cyclosporin A, inhibitors of the Ca2+-dependent phosphatase, calcineurin, also inhibited thapsigargin-induced IL-8 production. Thus, in neutrophils, a prolonged increase in [Ca2+]i stimulates IL-8 transcription and synthesis, possibly through a calcineurin-dependent pathway.