Human granulocytes isolated from peripheral blood have been described to synthesize both LTB4 and LTC4 from arachidonic acid. We have observed that the amount of LTC4 produced by human granulocyte preparations is strongly dependent on the relative amount of eosinophils. To investigate a possibly significant difference in leukotriene synthesis of the eosinophilic and neutrophilic granulocytes, we developed a purification method to isolate both cell types from granulocytes obtained from the blood of healthy donors. Leukotrienes were generated by incubation of the purified cells with arachidonic acid, calcium ionophore A23187, calcium-chloride and reduced glutathione. Surprisingly, eosinophils were found to produce almost exclusively the spasmogenic LTC4. In contrast, neutrophils produce almost exclusively the chemotactic LTB4, its omega-hydroxylated metabolite 20-hydroxy-LTB4 and two non-enzymically formed LTB4 isomers.