Systemic inflammatory reactions are a prominent feature of many parasitic infections and the cellular and humoral components of the acute phase reaction may have an impact on the host-parasite relationship. We examined serum changes of four acute phase reactants: alpha 1-proteinase inhibition (alpha 1Pi); complement C3; serum amyloid A protein (SAA); and serum amyloid P component (SAP), in mice undergoing a primary infection with Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. SAA and SAP showed changes within the first 2 days of infection indicating the presence of an acute phase response associated with inflammation in the lung. Alpha 1Pi and C3 serum levels were not altered. However, all four acute phase reactants were synthesized in greater amounts by primary cultures of hepatocytes taken from infected animals at this time. Subsequently, as parasite-mediated inflammatory changes occur in the gut, both serum and hepatocyte cultures demonstrate an acute inflammatory response in all four reactants. It is proposed that the early reaction between parasites and macrophage/monocyte lead to the release of a mediator of inflammation which initiates the hepatocyte response. In this infection, at least one of the APR is shown to localize to the site of inflammation influencing the host-parasite relationship.