The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of neutrophils in ischemic tissue injury and the possible inhibition by pretreatment with FK506, a neutrophilic modulating agent. A dorsal caudally based skin flap (3 x 9 cm) was used as an ischemic injury model in experimental groups. Prior to flap elevation, FK506 at doses of 0.3 mg per kilogram (group 2), 0.5 mg per kilogram (group 3), and 1.0 mg per kilogram (group 4) was given for 3 days intramuscularly. The relationship among neutrophil accumulation (histopathologically), myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, malondialdehyde (MDA) content (biochemically) of the flap tissue, and flap survival were studied. Skin flaps showed reduced necrosis in the FK506-treated groups (p < 0.08, p < 0.0001, and p < 0.0001 respectively). The increase in accumulation of neutrophils, and MDA and MPO levels (which were induced by ischemia) observed 1 and 24 hours after flap elevation was diminished by FK506 pretreatment. The increased neutrophilic infiltration, and raised tissue MDA content and MPO activity revealed involvement of both free radical production and neutrophils in ischemia. This injury was decreased by FK506, probably by inhibition of neutrophilic chemotaxis, infiltration, and releasing factors.