The model of cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) in rodents has been used extensively to investigate the clinical settings of sepsis and septic shock. This model produces a hyperdynamic, hypermetabolic state that can lead to a hypodynamic, hypometabolic stage, and eventual death. Blood cultures are positive for enteric organisms very early after CLP. The model has been widely used over the past 26 years and is highly versatile in adapting to a range of severity and testing objectives. It is inexpensive to prepare and technically straightforward. Aspects of sepsis research investigated using CLP include energetics, metabolism, resuscitation, antibiotic therapy, microbial factors, cardiovascular responses, immune function, mediator release, and cytokine expression patterns. The challenge of the small circulating blood volume in rodents can be overcome by using micromethods that enable analysis of small volumes, or alternatively, by using a large number of animals to obtain serial samples. Copyright © 2005 by the Shock Society.