L-selectin is an adhesion molecule expressed by neutrophils that broadly directs their infiltration in to sites of inflammation. It is also present at relatively high levels in the serum of normal individuals. It is well established that L-selectin is efficiently shed from the surface of neutrophils upon their activation, a process that regulates its density and binding activity. Neutrophil programmed cell death is critical for the resolution of inflammation, and L-selectin downregulation is induced during this process as well. The mechanisms underpinning this latter process are much less understood, and were investigated in this study. Using a disintegrin and metalloprotease (ADAM)-17 radiation chimeric mice, we demonstrate for the first time that during early events of death receptor-mediated neutrophil apoptosis, L-selectin downregulation occurs primarily by ADAM17-mediated shedding. This was observed as well upon using shRNA to knock down A DAM17 expression in Jurkat cells, a well-studied cell line in terms of the molecular processes involved in the induction of apoptosis. These findings directly reveal that ADAM17 activity occurs during programmed cell death. Hence, the cleavage of particular ADAM17 substrates may be an additional component of the anti-inflammatory program initiated by apoptotic neutrophils. Of interest was that during later stages of induced leukocyte apoptosis, soluble L-selectin production occurred independent of ADAM17, as well as membrane events, such as blebbing and microparticle production. This process may provide an explanation for the lack of diminished serum L-selectin levels in ADAM17-null mice, and suggests a mechanism for the homeostatic maintenance of soluble L-selectin levels in the blood of healthy individuals.