FMLP promoted microtubule assembly in PMNs at concentrations which were chemotactic for the cells. At higher concentrations than those required for chemotaxis, FMLP enhanced the adherence of PMNs to nylon glass fibers. With colchicine, PMN adherence was inhibited, but upon exposure to FMLP, PMN adherence could be restored. The effect of FMLP on PMN adherence was transitory and was no longer evident by 5 min. At concentrations similar to those employed in the adherence studies. FMLP induced the cells to briefly generate O-2, since ferricytochrome C reduction was no longer evident by 5 min. Pretreatment of the PMNs with cytochalasin B enhanced the release of O-2 by PMNs exposed to FMLP. On the other hand, there was no effect of FMLP on phagocytosis of C3-coated particles. These results suggest that FMLP induces responsive cells to develop a hyperadherent plasma membrane which is largely independent on microtubule control. Since oligopeptides similar of AMLP are formed in bacteria, it is likely that the action of N-formylated peptides is important in regulating the inflammatory response.