Introduction: Controlled mechanical ventilation and endotoxemia are associated with diaphragm muscle atrophy and dysfunction. Oxidative stress and activation of inflammatory pathways are involved in the pathogenesis of diaphragmatic dysfunction. Levosimendan, a cardiac inotrope, has been reported to possess anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of levosimendan on markers for diaphragm nitrosative and oxidative stress, inflammation and proteolysis in a mouse model of endotoxemia and mechanical ventilation. Methods: Three groups were studied: (1) unventilated mice (CON, n =8), (2) mechanically ventilated endotoxemic mice (MV LPS, n =17) and (3) mechanically ventilated endotoxemic mice treated with levosimendan (MV LPS + L, n =17). Immediately after anesthesia (CON) or after 8 hours of mechanical ventilation, blood and diaphragm muscle were harvested for biochemical analysis. Results: Mechanical ventilation and endotoxemia increased expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA and cytokine levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and keratinocyte-derived chemokine, and decreased IL-10, in the diaphragm; however, they had no effect on protein nitrosylation and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal protein concentrations. Levosimendan decreased nitrosylated proteins by 10% (P <0.05) and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal protein concentrations by 13% (P <0.05), but it augmented the rise of iNOS mRNA by 47% (P <0.05). Levosimendan did not affect the inflammatory response in the diaphragm induced by mechanical ventilation and endotoxemia. Conclusions: Mechanical ventilation in combination with endotoxemia results in systemic and diaphragmatic inflammation. Levosimendan partly decreased markers of nitrosative and oxidative stress, but did not affect the inflammatory response.