1. Adenosine is a normal constituent of all body fluids and its levels are raised, for example, by hypoxia and ischemia. In addition, both adenosine and ATP can be released by endothelial cells and neutrophils in response to physiologic stimulation. 2. Human neutrophil leukocytes possess multiple adenosine receptors and P2 purinoceptors. 3. ATP can increase intracellular Ca2+ levels in neutrophils, cause degranulation and enzyme release, potentiate the oxidative burst and enhance their adhesion to the endothelium. ATP is broken down to adenosine by ecto-enzymes. Via A1 receptors, adenosine can increase neutrophil chemotaxis and, via A2A receptors, it can decrease the oxidative burst, degranulation and adhesion to endothelium. 4. Adenosine and adenine nucleotides are important endogenous modulators of neutrophil functions, and drugs may exert important actions via purinoceptors on neutrophil leukocytes.