Catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase were found to inhibit significantly carrageenin edema and the primary phase of adjuvant arthritis in rats after i.v. injection. Heat-inactivated enzymes were as effective as the native enzymes. None of 10 scavengers of oxygen radicals inhibited the adjuvant arthritis at any time. Accordingly, no evidence for a participation of oxygen radicals in the secondary arthritis phase could be found, whereas a role of oxygen radicals in the primary arthritis phase and in carrageenin edema cannot be ruled out.