The effects of neomycin on human neutrophils (PMN) were studied with respect to the generation of leukotrienes, the involvement of guanine triphosphate binding proteins (G proteins) and the polymerization of actin. Incubation of neutrophils with neomycin induced the generation of low amounts of leukotrienes. Co-incubation of neutrophils with neomycin and the direct G-protein activator sodium fluoride (NaF) resulted in an enhanced leukotriene formation at 0.5 mM neomycin and an inhibition at a concentration of 10 mM. Simultaneous incubation with neomycin and formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FLMP) did not affect the FMLP-induced leukotriene formation. However, pretreatment of neutrophils with 10 mM neomycin followed by the addition of NaF or FMLP resulted in an enhanced generation of leukotrienes. Crude membrane fractions of PMN incubated with neomycin at different concentrations showed an enhanced (0.5 mM) as well as a reduced (10 mM) guanine triphosphatase activity. Furthermore, incubation of neutrophils with neomycin above a concentration of 0.5 mM led to the depolymerization of actin. The presented results show inhibitory and stimulatory effects of neomycin on various cell functions, which may reflect differences in transmembrane signalling.