Hemorrhagic shock (HS) can cause whole body ischemia including the gastrointestinal tract. We investigated whether cells from small intestine Peyer's patches (PP) were capable of producing superoxide radical when animals underwent HS or HS followed by resuscitation (HS/RS). HS was initiated by removing 60% of the blood volume of surgically prepared guinea pigs. PP lymphoid cells were purified and stimulated with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate in the presence of spin trap 5-diethoxyphosphoryl-5-methyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide (DEPMPO). Electron paramagnetic resonance spectra of PP lymphoid cells from sham-treated control, HS, and HS/RS animals produced DEPMPO radical adducts characterized as the adducts of superoxide (DEPMPO/*OOH) and hydroxyl (DEPMPO/*OH) radicals. The formation of both radical adducts was totally inhibited by superoxide dismutase or a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (reduced form) oxidase inhibitor, diphenyleneiodonium chloride. HS/RS increased radical adduct formation, expressed as a percentage control, by 160% and 225% for DEPMPO/*OOH, and DEPMPO/*OH, respectively. When animals were allowed to recover for 24 h post-HS/RS treatment, PP cells decreased the superoxide generation to the same level as controls. Thus, RS following HS may prime PP lymphoid cells for increased nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (reduced form) oxidase-dependent superoxide generation, and this process may have cytotoxic and/or immunomodulatory effects on the host.