The compartmentalization of cAMP in human neutrophils during phagocytosis of serum-opsonized zymosan suggests that cAMP is an important second messenger for regulating phagocytosis. Type 4 cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE-4), cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), and adenylate cyclase are the principal effector molecules for cAMP regulation in phagocytes. Immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated that PDE-4 isoforms (HSPDE-4A, HSPDE-4B, HSPDE-4D) were targeted to the forming phagosome in neutrophils, and were colocalized with the catalytic subunit of PKA and degranulated myeloperoxidase. Phagocytosis and accumulation of PDE-4 and PKA near adherent zymosan were inhibited by elevating cAMP levels with forskolin or rolipram. cAMP, PDE-4, and PKA were localized at sites of zymosan adherence in cells treated with cytochalasin D to inhibit phagosome formation, suggesting that zymosan engagement to Fc/CR3 receptors triggers cAMP elevations at sites of phagocytosis. HSPDE-4A, HSPDE-4B, HSPDE-4D, and PKA also were localized at the forming phagosome in monocyte-derived macrophages, and the lysosomal marker CD63 demonstrated the absence of PDE-4 around internalized phagolysosomes. These results suggest that cAMP levels are focally regulated by PDE-4 at the nascent phagosome, and that PKA may phosphorylate proteins associated with pseudopodia formation and phagosome internalization.