Interactions between tumour cells and the microenvironment are increasingly recognised to have an influence on cancer progression. In pancreatic carcinoma, a highly desmoplastic stroma with abnormal extracellular matrix (ECM) protein and interleukin-8 (IL-8) expression is seen. To investigate whether the ECM may further contribute to abnormalities in the microenvironment by influencing IL-8 secretion, we cultured the Mia PaCa2 pancreatic carcinoma cell line on fibronectin. This resulted in a dose-dependent increase in IL-8 secretion, which was RGD dependent and accompanied by cell spreading and proliferation. The role of spreading was assessed by disruption of the cytoskeleton with cytochalasin D, resulting in a large increase in IL-8 secretion, which was reduced from 31- to 24-fold by fibronectin. This remarkable response was associated with inhibition of spreading and proliferation and represents a novel cytoskeletal function. To investigate whether it could be accounted for by the loss of integrin-mediated signalling, the expressed alpha5beta1, alphaVbeta5 and alpha3beta1 integrins were inhibited. alpha5beta1 inhibition prevented spreading and proliferation but produced a much smaller rise in IL-8 secretion than cytochalasin D. alphaVbeta5 inhibition alone had only minor effects but when inhibited in combination with alpha5beta1 completely abolished the response to fibronectin. These results reveal latent stimulatory effects of the alphaVbeta5 integrin on IL-8 secretion and suggest that integrin crosstalk may limit the induction of IL-8 secretion by fibronectin. However, the magnitude of IL-8 secretion induced by cytochalasin cannot be accounted for by integrin signalling and may reflect the influence of another signalling pathway or a novel, intrinsic cytoskeletal function.