Previous studies have suggested that osteopontin, an arginine-glycine-aspartate-containing secreted protein, might be important in macrophage accumulation during interstitial nephritis and wound healing. The current study investigated the role of osteopontin in intradermal macrophage infiltration using immunohistochemistry and neutralizing antibodies. Purified osteopontin induced macrophage accumulation after injection in rat dermis and facilitated adhesion and migration of cultured macrophage-like cells in vitro. Intradermal injection of N-formyl-met-leu-phe (FMLP), a potent macrophage chemotactic peptide, induced a macrophage-rich infiltrate at the site of injection. Most of these macrophages expressed high levels of osteopontin as shown by immunochemical analysis. To determine whether osteopontin expressed by macrophages was required for their infiltration, we treated rats with either anti-osteopontin neutralizing antibody (OP199) or nonimmune antibody. We found that FMLP-induced macrophage accumulation was largely inhibited (>60%) by anti-osteopontin antibody treatment compared with rats receiving nonimmune antibody. These data support the hypothesis that osteopontin may be a critical mediator of inflammation in specific disease and injury states, potentially by promoting macrophage adhesion and migration.