Polymorphonuclear leucocyte (PMN) ingestion of particles coated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Escherichia coli was compared to other PMN functions in seven patients with insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) during short-term controlled metabolic changes from normo- to hyperglycemia without ketoacidosis. Factors known to interfere with PMN functions were excluded. PMN ingestion of particles coated with both LPS and bovine serum albumin became reduced from normo- to hyperglycemia. PMN motility was impaired in IDDM, but did not seem to be affected by short-term changes in metabolic control. PMN metabolism did not change from normo-to hyperglycemia. Particle-uptake by diabetic PMN is impaired after short term hyperglycemia in the range normally occurring in diabetics in every-day life.