Neutrophil activation occurs in women with preeclampsia and is resolved after delivery. The present study examined whether circulating factors in plasma of women with preeclampsia caused neutrophil activation and lipid peroxidation. Twenty-one women with proteinuric preeclampsia were matched for age and gestational age with 19 normal pregnant women. Plasma was collected from all subjects before delivery and at 6 weeks postpartum and incubated with autologous white-cell buffy coat collected at the postpartum visit. Neutrophil activation was assessed by level of CD11b and CD18 expression after incubation with autologous antepartum or postpartum plasma. Lipid peroxidation was assessed by measurement of F-2-isoprostanes in plasma, plasma-white cell incubates, and urine. Neutrophil CD11b and CD18 expression was not differentially altered by incubation with plasma from either women with preeclampsia or normal pregnant women and was similar between groups when incubation was performed with plasma collected after delivery. In preeclampsia, plasma F-2-isoprostanes were significantly increased before and after delivery compared with controls. Plasma F-2-isoprostanes were increased 2-fold after incubation of plasma with buffy coat, but preeclamptic women had higher levels compared with those of controls when either pregnant or postpartum plasma was used. In pregnant preeclamptics, plasma F-2-isoprostanes were positively correlated with lymphocyte count. Six weeks after delivery, plasma F-2-isoprostanes in the preeclamptic Women were significantly positively associated with lymphocyte count and cholesterol and negatively associated with albumin. In conclusion, the present study does not suggest that a stable circulating factor causes neutrophil activation in preeclampsia. However, lipid peroxidation is elevated before and after delivery in women with preeclampsia, which suggests that these women may have an underlying predisposition to increased oxidative stress that may be driven by or contribute to a persistent low-grade inflammatory response.