The aim of this study was to compare gene expression profiles of leukocytes from blood (white blood cells; WBCs) and spleen harvested at an early time point after injury or sham injury in mice subjected to trauma/hemorrhage, burn injury, or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) infusion at three experimental sites. Groups of injured or LPS-infused animals and sham controls were killed at 2 h after injury and resuscitation, blood and spleen were harvested, and leukocyte populations were recovered after erythrocyte lysis. RNA was extracted from postlysis leukocyte populations. Complementary RNA was synthesized from each RNA sample and hybridized to microarrays. A large number (500-1,400) of genes were differentially expressed at the 2-h time point in injured or LPS-infused vs. sham animals. Thirteen of the differentially expressed genes in blood, and 46 in the spleen, were upregulated or downregulated in common among all three animal models and may represent a common, early transcriptional response to systemic inflammation from a variety of causes. The majority of these genes could be assigned to pathways involved in the immune response and cell death. The up- or downregulation of a cohort of 23 of these genes was validated by RT-PCR. This large-scale microarray analysis shows that, at the 2-h 1time point, there is marked alteration in leukocyte gene expression in three animal models of injury and inflammation. Although there is some commonality among the models, the majority of the differentially expressed genes appear to be uniquely associated with the type of injury and/or the inflammatory stimulus. Copyright © 2006 the American Physiological Society.