Based on the fluorescence properties of adriamycin (ADM) and daunorubicin (DNR), uptake in sensitive and resistant Friend leukemia cells (FLC) was studied with the aid of the fluorescence activated cell sorter (FACS II). A quantitative cell by cell fluorescence intensity analysis showed a differential affinity of FLC to ADM and DNR. The cellular uptake of these two drugs was temperature dependent and was not hindered by sodium azide treatment; incorporation into isolated nuclei was not temperature dependent, nor hindered by sodium azide. Friend leukemia cell variants resistant to adriamycin (ADM-RFLC) and to daunorubicin (DNR-RFLC) were developed. The rate of uptake of ADM and DNR across the plasma membrane of these two cell variants was lower than in sensitive cells. Although these cells were crossresistant to both ADM and DNR, the drug-induced fluorescence intensity was distributed differently in the corresponding resistant cell variants. We suggest therefore that resistant is the consequence of changes induced in the plasma membrane components. These changes may differ according to which drug is used.