In this study, we examined the effects of direct hemoperfusion through filters with immobilized polymyxin B (PMX-DHP) on leukocyte function and plasma levels of cytokines in patients with septic shock. We found that PMX-DHP caused increased expression of C-X-C chemokine receptor 1 (CXCR1) and CXCR2, along with decreased expression of CD64 and CD11b, by circulating neutrophils in patients with septic shock. Plasma levels of cytokines, including interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-8, IL-10, and high-mobility group box 1, were elevated in patients with septic shock compared with healthy controls, but cytokine levels were not altered by PMX-DHP. These results suggest that PMX-DHP influences neutrophils via a mechanism that does not involve cytokine. Ex vivo perfusion of heparinized blood from patients with sepsis and septic shock through PMX filters in a laboratory circuit caused a significant decrease in neutrophil and monocyte counts. After 120 min of perfusion, neutrophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes were decreased by 78%, 70%, and 10%, respectively, compared with baseline values. Flow cytometric analysis indicated that activated neutrophils with high levels of CD11b/CD64 expression and low levels of CXCR1/CXCR2 expression showed preferential adhesion to PMX filters. Neutrophils isolated from the blood after ex vivo PMX perfusion caused less damage to an endothelial cell monolayer than cells from sham-treated blood, whereas neutrophil phagocytosis of opsonized Escherichia coli was unaffected. These results indicate that PMX-DHP selectively removes activated neutrophils and reduces the ability of circulating cells to cause endothelial damage. Selective removal of activated neutrophils using PMX-DHP may improve the systemic inflammatory response in patients with septic shock.