CD45 is a transmembrane glycoprotein that is located on the surface of all leukocytes and modulates both innate and adaptive immune system functions. In a recent study, inflammation modulated the CD45 expression in leukocytes, but the effect on the expression of CD45 subtypes is unknown. In the present study, we therefore investigated the effect of inflammatory conditions in humans (surgery, sepsis) and ex vivo incubation with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) on the expression of the subtypes CD45RA and CD45RO in granulocytes, lymphocytes, and monocytes. Whole blood samples were obtained from healthy volunteers, postoperative patients, and patients with sepsis at day 1 of diagnosis, respectively. Samples were incubated with fluorescent antibodies directed against CD45, CD45RA and CD45RO in the absence and presence of lipopolysaccharide and subjected to flow cytometry. In comparison to volunteers, CD45RA surface expression in postoperative and septic patients was reduced by 89% exclusively on granulocytes, but not on lymphocytes or monocytes. In contrast, CD45RO was exclusively reduced on lymphocytes, by 82%, but not on other cell types. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses demonstrated that CD45RA (on granulocytes) and CD45RO (on lymphocytes) allow a good differentiation of volunteers and patients with sepsis (AUC = 0.9; = 0.0001). The addition of LPS to the whole blood samples obtained from volunteers, postoperative patients, and septic patients markedly increased the CD45RO expression in granulocytes, lymphocytes, and monocytes. In contrast, LPS reduced CD45RA exclusively on monocytes. In conclusion, the surface expression of CD45RA and CD45RO is regulated in inflammation in a cell-type- and stimulus-specific manner. Considering that CD45 subtypes are critically involved in immune system signaling, the pathophysiologic and diagnostic implications warrant further investigation.