Respiratory burst mediates crucial bactericidal mechanism in neutrophils. However, undesirable respiratory burst leads to pathological inflammation and tissue damage. This study investigates the effect and the underlying mechanism of 5-hydroxy-2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-3,7-dimethoxy-4H-chromen-4-one (MSF-2), a lignan extracted from the fruit of Melicope Semecarprifolia, on fMLP-induced respiratory burst in human neutrophils and suggests a possible therapeutic approach to ameliorate disease associated with neutrophil hyperactivation. MSF-2 inhibited fMLP-induced neutrophil superoxide anion production, cathepsin G release and migration in human neutrophils isolated from healthy volunteers, reflecting inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activation. Specifically, PI3K/AKT activation results in migration, degranulation and superoxide anion production in neutrophils. MSF-2 suppresses PI3K activation and phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PIP3) production, and consequently inhibits downstream activation of PDK1 and AKT. Further, PI3K also stimulates respiratory burst via PLC-dependent elevation of intracellular calcium. MSF-2 reduces fMLP-mediated PLCγ2 activation and intracellular calcium accumulation notably through extracellular calcium influx in a PI3K and PLC-dependent manner. However, MSF-2 is not a competitive or allosteric antagonist of fMLP. Additionally, in an in vivo study, MSF-2 prevents fMLP-induced neutrophil infiltration and inflammation in mice. In conclusion, MSF-2 opposes fMLP-mediated neutrophil activation and inflammation by inhibiting PI3K activation and subsequent activation of AKT and PLCγ2. J. Cell. Physiol. 226: 1519–1530, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.