It was investigated whether beta-adrenoceptor antagonists could disturb the interaction between cytotoxin preparations isolated from Pasteurella haemolytica and bovine polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). The toxicity of the cytotoxin preparation was evaluated by measuring the chemiluminescence response and the viability of the cells after incubation with the cytotoxin. No effect on cell viability was detected when PMNs were incubated with 63 micrograms cytotoxin per ml while the chemiluminescence response was diminished by approximately 30%. The beta-adrenoceptor antagonists alprenolol (10(-5) M) and propranolol (5 X 10(-7) - 5 X 10(-6) M) were able to attenuate this effect of cytotoxin on the chemiluminescence response of PMNs. It seemed unlikely that propranolol and alprenolol diminished the effect of cytotoxin on the chemiluminescence response of PMNs by their beta-adrenoceptor blocking potency because other beta-adrenoceptor antagonists used were without effect. Also, the membrane stabilizing characteristics of the beta-adrenoceptor antagonists used were probably not responsible for the diminished interaction between PMNs and the cytotoxin. Whether beta-adrenoceptor antagonists could be used in vivo to prevent or treat P. haemolytica infections in bovines remains to be examined.