In order to examine the role of cell surface laminin in tumor metastasis we have utilized four well-characterized murine fibrosarcoma cell lines. Two of these lines were highly metastatic when injected into syngeneic mice while the remaining two lines were significantly less metastatic. Using indirect immunofluorescence techniques, we detected cell surface laminin on the cell surface of both highly metastatic cell lines but not on the low-metastatic cell lines. Although the low-metastatic cell lines did not possess endogeneous cell surface laminin, they had the ability to specifically bind exogenous laminin to their surface in a time- and concentration-dependent manner, indicating the presence of laminin receptors on these cells. Incubation of the low-metastatic cells with exogenous laminin prior to injection into syngeneic animals significantly increased their metastatic potential. No such increase was observed when the highly metastatic lines were preincubated with exogenous laminin. On the basis of these results, we conclude that in this fibrosarcoma model, metastatic potential is influenced by cell surface laminin and that the presence of unbound laminin receptors on the cell surface is not alone sufficient to promote metastasis of these cells.