Leukocyte Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18) and L-selectin (CD62L) are implicated in leukocyte adhesion to endothelial cells. In this study, L-selectin and CD11b expression on leukocytes and soluble L-selectin (sL-selectin) serum levels were investigated in 17 nondialyzed patients with chronic renal failure (CRF), in 28 chronic hemodialysis patients before hemodialysis (basal state), and in 32 healthy subjects. These parameters were also monitored during hemodialysis with cuprophane and cellulose diacetate membranes in a crossover study in five patients. Granulocytes from CRF patients displayed lower expression of L-selectin and higher expression of CD11b than granulocytes from healthy subjects. On the other hand, baseline expression of L-selectin and CD11b on leukocytes from hemodialysis patients did not differ from that of healthy subjects. In CRF and hemodialysis patients, sL-selectin levels were significantly lower than in healthy subjects. During hemodialysis, cuprophane membrane induced an upregulation of granulocyte CD11b, a decrease in granulocyte L-selectin, and an increase in sL-selectin serum levels. Conversely, cellulose diacetate caused only a transient increase in granulocyte CD11b and did not modify granulocyte L-selectin and sL-selectin serum levels. High CD11b and low L-selectin expression on granulocytes in CRF patients suggests an activation state, which was not found in hemodialysis patients at the basal state. The lack of activation in hemodialysis patients could reflect the elimination of a uremic toxin by dialysis or a loss of granulocyte responsiveness because of the repetitive stimulation by hemodialysis treatment. The low serum levels of sL-selectin in CRF and hemodialysis patients also suggest granulocyte dysfunction.