In a model of human chorioamnionitis, fetal sheep exposed to a single injection, but not repeated injections, of intra-amniotic endotoxin develop lung injury responses. We hypothesized that repeated exposure to intra-amniotic endotoxin induces endotoxin tolerance. Fetal sheep were given intra-amniotic injections of saline (control) or Escherichia coli LPS 055:B5 (10 mg) either 2 days (2-day group, single exposure), 7 days (7-day group, single exposure), or 2 plus 7 days (2- and 7-day repeat exposure) before preterm delivery at 124 days gestation (term = 150 days). Endotoxin responses were assessed in vivo in the lung and liver, and in vitro in monocytes from the blood and the lung. Compared with the single 2-day LPS exposure group, the (2 plus 7 days) repeat LPS-exposed lambs had: 1) decreased lung neutrophil and monocyte inducible NO synthase (NOSII) expression, and 2) decreased lung cytokine and liver serum amyloid A3 mRNA expression. In the lung, serum amyloid A3 mRNA expression decreased in the airway epithelia] cells but not in the lung inflammatory cells. Unlike the single 7-day LPS exposure group, peripheral blood and lung monocytes from the repeat-LPS group did not increase IL-6 secretion or hydrogen peroxide production in response to in vitro LPS. Compared with controls, TLR4 expression did not change but IL-1R-associated kinase M expression increased in the monocytes from repeat LPS-exposed lambs. These results are consistent with the novel finding of endotoxin tolerance in preterm fetal lungs exposed to intra-amniotic LPS. The findings have implications for preterm infants exposed to chorioamnionitis for both responses to lung injury and postnatal nosocomial infections.