Hyperoxia may contribute to lung disease in newborns through effects on alveolar neutrophils which predominate in respiratory distress syndrome and other acute lung injuries. Neutrophil chemokines such as interleukin-8 (IL-8) regulate chemoattraction, and are elevated in tracheal aspirates of newborns who develop bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Blockade of neutrophil chemokines may reduce hyperoxia-induced inflammatory lung injury and BPD. We therefore tested the hypothesis that hyperoxia contributes to elevations of rat neutrophil chemokines, cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-1 (CINC-1), and macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2) in newborn rat lung. Newborn rats were exposed to air or 95% O(2) for 8 d. CINC-1 and MIP-2 were measured in whole lung homogenates by ELISA. Newborn 95% O(2)-exposed animals were given anti-CINC-1 or anti-MIP-2, 1, 5, or 10 microg on Days 3 and 4 of 95% O(2) exposure. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was performed after perfusion on day 6 to evaluate airway neutrophils, and myeloperoxidase (MPO) was measured in perfused whole lung. Lungs were examined histologically and immunohistochemically for effects of 95% O(2) +/- antichemokine. CINC-1 and MIP-2 increased nearly tenfold by Day 8 95% O(2) treatment versus air control. CINC-1 and MIP-2 immunolabeling was increased in alveolar macrophages and alveolar epithelium in 95% O(2). Anti-CINC-1 and anti-MIP-2 treatment at every dose reduced neutrophil number > 90% in BAL. Anti-CINC-1 10 microg reduced tissue MPO by 50%. Antichemokine treatment on days 3 and 4 prevented alveolar septal thickening and reduced chemokine immunolabeling on Day 6. Hyperoxia-induced neutrophil influx is mediated in part by CINC-1 and MIP-2 in newborn rats and can be partially prevented by treatment with anti-CINC-1 and anti-MIP-2.