Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by unrelenting polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMN) inflammation and vascular permeability. The matrikine proline-glycine-proline (PGP) and acetylated PGP (Ac-PGP) have been shown to induce PMN inflammation and endothelial permeability in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we investigated the presence and role of airway PGP peptides in acute lung injury (ALI)/ARDS. Pseudomonas aeruginosa-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was instilled intratracheally in mice to induce ALI, and increased Ac-PGP with neutrophil inflammation was noted. The PGP inhibitory peptide, arginine-threonine-arginine (RTR), was administered (it) 30 min before or 6 h after LPS injection. Lung injury was evaluated by detecting neutrophil infiltration and permeability changes in the lung. Pre- and posttreatment with RTR significantly inhibited LPS-induced ALI by attenuating lung neutrophil infiltration, pulmonary permeability, and parenchymal inflammation. To evaluate the role of PGP levels in ARDS, minibronchoalveolar lavage was collected from nine ARDS, four cardiogenic edema, and five nonlung disease ventilated patients. PGP levels were measured and correlated with Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) score, [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text] (P/F), and ventilator days. PGP levels in subjects with ARDS were significantly higher than cardiogenic edema and nonlung disease ventilated patients. Preliminary examination in both ARDS and non-ARDS populations demonstrated PGP levels significantly correlated with P/F ratio, APACHE score, and duration on ventilator. These results demonstrate an increased burden of PGP peptides in ARDS and suggest the need for future studies in ARDS cohorts to examine correlation with key clinical parameters.