Innate immune complement activation may contribute to sickle cell disease (SCD) pathogenesis. Ischemia-reperfusion physiology is a key component of the inflammatory and vaso-occlusive milieu in SCD and is associated with complement activation. C5a is an anaphylatoxin, a potent pro-inflammatory mediator that can activate leukocytes, platelets, and endothelial cells, all of which play a role in vaso-occlusion. We hypothesize that hypoxia-reoxygenation (H/R) in SCD mice activates complement, promoting inflammation and vaso-occlusion. At baseline and after H/R, sickle Townes-SS mice had increased C3 activation fragments and C5b-9 deposition in kidneys, livers and lungs and alternative pathway Bb fragments in plasma compared to control AA-mice. Activated complement promoted vaso-occlusion (microvascular stasis) in SS-mice; infusion of zymosan-activated, but not heat-inactivated serum, induced substantial vaso-occlusion in the skin venules of SS-mice. Infusion of recombinant C5a induced stasis in SS, but not AA-mice that was blocked by anti-C5a receptor (C5aR) IgG. C5a-mediated stasis was accompanied by inflammatory responses in SS-mice including NF-κB activation and increased expression of TLR4 and adhesion molecules VCAM-1, ICAM-1, and E-selectin in the liver. Anti-C5aR IgG blocked these inflammatory responses. Also, C5a rapidly up-regulated Weibel-Palade body P-selectin and von Willebrand factor on the surface of human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro and on vascular endothelium in vivo. In SS-mice, a blocking antibody to P-selectin inhibited C5a-induced stasis. Similarly, an antibody to C5 that blocks murine C5 cleavage or an antibody that blocks C5aR inhibited H/R-induced stasis in SS-mice. These results suggest that inhibition of C5a may be beneficial in SCD.