This study investigated the effect of n-3 fatty acids on adhesion molecules and tissue myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity in diabetic mice with sepsis. Diabetes was induced by a streptozotocin injection. Mice with blood glucose levels exceeding 2000 mg/l were considered diabetic. Diabetic mice were assigned to two groups with a medium-fat (10 %, w/w) diet either provided by soyabean oil (SO, n 30) or fish oil (FO, n 30). n-3 fatty acids provided 4·3 % of the total energy and the n-3/n-6 fatty acid ratio was 1:2 in the FO diet. After feeding the respective diet for 3 weeks, all mice had sepsis induced by caecal ligation and puncture (CLP) and were killed at 0, 6 or 24 h after CLP, with ten mice at each time-point. The result showed that compared with the SO group, FO group had lower PGE2 and TNF-α levels in peritoneal lavage fluid after CLP. Lymphocyte CD11a/CD18 expressions were higher at 6 h, whereas the percentage was lower at 24 h in the SO group than in the FO group. Neutrophil CD11b/CD18 expressions were significantly higher in the SO group than in the FO group at 0 h. The FO group had lower organ MPO activities at various time-points after CLP when compared with those of the SO group. The present findings suggest that compared with the diabetic mice fed SO, a low-dose n-3 fatty acid supplementation may attenuate leucocyte adhesion and infiltration into tissues in diabetic mice complicated with sepsis.