Hepatic ischemia and reperfusion cause local and remote organ injury. This injury culminates from an integrated cascade of proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and adhesion molecules, many of which are regulated by the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB). The anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) has been shown to have inhibitory effects on NF-kappaB. The objective of the current study was to determine whether IL-10 could suppress pulmonary NF-kappaB activation and ensuing lung injury induced by hepatic ischemia-reperfusion. C57BL/6 mice underwent partial hepatic ischemia with or without intravenous administration of IL-10. Hepatic ischemia-reperfusion resulted in pulmonary NF-kappaB activation, increased mRNA expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2), as well as increased pulmonary neutrophil accumulation and lung edema. Administration of IL-10 suppressed lung NF-kappaB activation, reduced TNF-alpha and MIP-2 mRNA expression, and decreased pulmonary neutrophil recruitment and lung injury. The data suggest that IL-10 protects against hepatic ischemia and reperfusion-induced lung injury by inhibiting lung NF-kappaB activation and the resulting pulmonary production of proinflammatory mediators.