Traumatic and/or surgical injury as well as hemorrhage induces profound suppression of cellular immunity. Although local anesthetics have been shown to impair immune responses, it remains unclear whether lidocaine affects lymphocyte functions following trauma-hemorrhage (T-H). We hypothesized that lidocaine will potentiate the suppression of lymphocyte functions after T-H. To test this, we randomly assigned male C3H/HeN (6-8 wk) mice to sham operation or T-H. T-H was induced by midline laparotomy and ∼90 min of hemorrhagic shock (blood pressure 35 mmHg), followed by fluid resuscitation (4x shed blood volume in the form of Ringer lactate). Two hours later, the mice were killed and splenocytes and bone marrow cells were isolated. The effects of lidocaine on concanavalin A-stimulated splenocyte proliferation and cytokine production in both sham-operated and T-H mice were assessed. The effects of lidocaine on LPS-stimulated bone marrow cell proliferation and cytokine production were also assessed. The results indicate that T-H suppresses cell proliferation, Th1 cytokine production, and MAPK activation in splenocytes. In contrast, cell proliferation, cytokine production, and MAPK activation in bone marrow cells were significantly higher 2 h after T-H compared with shams. Lidocaine depressed immune responses in splenocytes; however, it had no effect in bone marrow cells in either sham or T-H mice. The enhanced immunosuppressive effects of lidocaine could contribute to the host's enhanced susceptibility to infection following T-H. Copyright © 2006 the American Physiological Society.