A bacteria-free supernatant of Pseudomonas aeruginosa induces the production of neutrophil chemotactic activity in human bronchial epithelial cells in vitro that is due to the potent chemotactic factor, interleukin-8 (IL-8). Because P. aeruginosa supernatant itself is not chemotactic, we hypothesized that intratracheal P. aeruginosa induces the production of neutrophil chemotactic factors, including IL-8, in vivo. Because neutrophils play a key role in cystic fibrosis, inhibition of neutrophil recruitment might be therapeutic. We studied the effect of P. aeruginosa supernatant in the isolated tracheal segment of dogs in vivo, and we measured neutrophil chemotactic activity in vitro in the tracheal fluid. We also determined the local effect of intratracheal administration of leumedin NPC 15669, an inhibitor of neutrophil recruitment, on IL-8- and Pseudomonas-induced neutrophil accumulation. P. aeruginosa supernatant and IL-8 both caused time-dependent accumulation of neutrophils in the tracheal fluid. Tracheal fluid obtained after P. aeruginosa administration had neutrophil chemotactic activity in vitro that was significantly inhibited by the IL-8 antibody. Intratracheal NPC 15669 prevented both IL-8- and Pseudomonas-induced accumulation of neutrophils. We conclude that P. aeruginosa supernatant recruits neutrophils into the airway indirectly by inducing the production of chemotactic factors, including IL-8. Our results suggest a potential therapeutic role for leumedins in chronic airway diseases.