An important step of innate immune response is the recruitment of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) to injured tissues through chemotactic molecules. Galectins, a family of endogenous lectins, participate in numerous functions such as lymphoid cell migration, homing, cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. Particularly, galectin-3 (Gal-3) and -9 have been implicated in the modulation of acute and chronic inflammation by inducing the directional migration of monocytes/macrophages and eosinophils, whereas Gal-1 is considered to function as an anti-inflammatory molecule, capable of inhibiting the influx of PMN to the site of injury. In this study, we assessed the effect of Gal-1 on neutrophil recruitment, in the absence of additional inflammatory insults. Contrasting with its capacity to inhibit cell trafficking and modulate the release of mediators described in models of acute inflammation and autoimmunity, we evidenced that Gal-1 has the capacity to induce neutrophil migration both in vitro and in vivo. This effect is not mediated through a G-protein-coupled receptor but potentially through the sialoglycoprotein CD43, via carbohydrate binding and through the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. These results suggest a novel biological function for CD43 on neutrophils and highlight that depending on the environment, Gal-1 can act either as chemoattractant or, as a molecule that negatively regulates migration under acute inflammatory conditions, underscoring the potential of Gal-1 as a target for innovative drug development.