The movement of mononuclear phagocytes and neutrophils from the circulation into tissues is a process which is not completely understood. Monoclonal antibody 5.5 is specific for an 8/14-kDa molecule known variously as the CF antigen, L1 molecule or MRP8 and 14. We show that this molecule, which will be named p8,14 in this study, is expressed in all circulating monocytes and neutrophils as an intracellular product (as well as some types of epithelium). Tissue staining patterns suggest that when monocytes and neutrophils adhere to vascular endothelium, they release this molecule onto the associated endothelium. This process occurs with single monocytes and when monocytes form part of an inflammatory infiltrate. Monoclonal antibody 5.5 does not react with cultured endothelial cells even when stimulated with phorbol ester, tumor necrosis factor, interferon-gamma or interleukin 1 alpha providing further evidence that myeloid cells are the source of the p8,14 in this interactive process. Monocytes which have moved further into such tissues and tissue macrophages in general are monoclonal antibody 5.5 negative, suggesting that the ability to synthesize this molecule may be lost when monocytes leave the circulation and enter tissues. These results indicate that p8,14 plays a role in the interaction between myeloid cells and the vascular endothelium to which they adhere prior to leaving the circulation.