Molecular mechanisms of sepsis-associated acute lung injury (ALI) are poorly defined. Since vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent vascular permeability and mitogenic factor, it might contribute to the development of ALI in sepsis. Thus, using lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced (15 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) endotoxemic rat model, we studied the timeline (1, 3, 6, and 10 h) of pulmonary VEGF expression and its signaling machinery. Levels of pulmonary VEGF and its angiogenic-mediating receptor, Flk-1, were downregulated by LPS in a time-dependent manner; levels of plasma VEGF and its permeability-mediating receptor, Flt-1, in contrast, was upregulated with time. In addition, blockade of Flt-1 could improve the downregulated pulmonary VEGF level and attenuate the elevated plasma and pulmonary levels of TNF-α, followed by improvement of arterial oxygenation and wet-to-dry weight ratio of the lung. Expression of signaling, pro- and or apoptotic factors after LPS administration were as follows: phosphorylated Akt, a downstream molecule was downregulated time dependently; endothelial nitric oxide synthase levels were significantly reduced; pro-apoptotic markers caspase 3 and Bax were upregulated whereas levels of Bcl-2 were downregulated. The present findings show that VEGF may play a role through the expression of Flt-1 in LPS-induced ALI. Moreover, downregulation of VEGF signaling cascade may account for LPS-induced apoptosis and impaired physiological angiogenesis in lung tissues, which in turn may contribute to the development of ALI induced by LPS.