NPC 15669, a member of a new class of antiinflammatory agents termed leumedins, blocks inflammation in several animal models, including contact dermatitis and Arthus reaction, by inhibiting recruitment of neutrophils and lymphocytes into inflammatory lesions. These compounds do not block lipid metabolic enzymes, nor do they antagonize receptors for various chemoattractants, including LTB4, PAF, C5a, and fMLP. This report demonstrates that in vitro, pretreatment of stimulated neutrophils with NPC 15669 results in the dose-dependent inhibition of adherence to cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells or to the protein substrate keyhole limpet hemocyanin. Adherence of HL-60 cells (a promyelocytic line) is unaffected when stimulated endothelial cells are pretreated with NPC 15669. Flow cytometric analysis of adhesion molecules expressed on neutrophils revealed that pretreatment of neutrophils with NPC 15669 prior to activation inhibits the increase in expression of the CD11b and CD18 adhesion molecule subunits. We conclude that (1) NPC 15669 acts on neutrophils to block activation-induced adherence, and (2) NPC 15669 inhibits the upregulation of the CD11b/CD18 (Mac-1) adhesion receptor.