The effect of inhaled nitric oxide (NO) on inflammatory process in acute lung injury (ALI) is unclear. The aims of this study were to 1) examine whether inhaled NO affects the biochemical lung injury parameters and cellular inflammatory responses and 2) determine the effect of inhaled NO on the activation of nuclear factorB-κB (NF-κB) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI. Compared with saline controls, rabbits treated intravenously with LPS showed increases in total protein and lactate dehydrogenase in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid, indicating ALI. LPS-treated animals with NO inhalation (LPS-NO) showed significant decreases in these parameters. Neutrophil numbers in the BAL fluid, the activity of reactive oxygen species in BAL cells, and the levels of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-8 in alveolar macrophages were increased in LPS-treated animals. In contrast, neutrophil numbers and these cellular activities were substantially decreased in LPS-NO animals, compared with LPS-treated animals. NF-κB activation in alveolar macrophages from LPS-treated animals was also markedly increased, whereas this activity was effectively blocked in LPS-NO animals. These results suggest that inhaled NO attenuates LPS-induced ALI and pulmonary inflammation. This attenuation may be associated with the inhibition of NF-κB activation.