The goal of the present study was to assess whether cardiac myocytes exposed to anoxia-reoxygenation (A/R) could generate a chemotactic gradient for polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) transendothelial migration. Exposure of neonatal mouse cardiac myocytes to A/R induced an oxidant stress in the myocytes. Supernatants obtained from A/R-conditioned myocytes promoted mouse PMN migration across mouse myocardial endothelial cell monolayers. This increase in PMN transendothelial migration could be prevented if catalase or a platelet-activating factor (PAF) antagonist was added to the supernatants before assay. Supernatants from A/R-conditioned myocytes activated endothelial cells by inducing an intracellular oxidant stress. The oxidant stress and PMN transendothelial migration induced by supernatants from A/R-conditioned myocytes were substantially reduced when endothelial cells derived from manganese superoxide dismutase overexpressing mice were used in the assays. Supernatants from A/R-conditioned myocytes also increased endothelial cell surface levels of E-selectin and intercellular adhesion molecule-1. Our results indicate that cardiac myocytes exposed to A/R can generate a chemotactic gradient, presumably due to production and release of stable oxidants and PAF. The ability of supernatants from A/R-conditioned myocytes to promote PMN transendothelial migration was largely dependent on induction of an oxidant stress in endothelial cells. In addition, these supernatants also induced a proadhesive phenotype in the endothelial cells.