1. RT-PCR-southern hybridization analyses with radiolabelled P2Y receptor cDNAs as probes indicated that the peripheral blood leukocytes and the human umbilical vein endothelial cells express P2Y1, P2Y2, P2Y4 and P2Y6 receptors. 2. Of the haematopoietic cell lines tested, promonocytic U937 cells express P2Y2 and P2Y6, but not P2Y1 or P2Y4; promyelocytic HL-60 cells express the P2Y1, P2Y2 and P2Y6 receptors but not the P2Y4 receptor; K562 cells express P2Y1 but not P2Y2, P2Y4 or P2Y6; and Dami cells express P2Y1, P2Y2, P2Y4 and P2Y6 receptors. 3. Of the peripheral blood leukocytes tested, polymorphonuclear cells express P2Y4 and P2Y6 but not P2Y1 or P2Y2 receptors; monocytes express P2Y1, P2Y2, P2Y4 and P2Y6 receptors and lymphocytes express P2Y1, P2Y2, P2Y4 and P2Y6 receptors. 4. These results suggest a physiological role for different P2Y receptor subtypes in the extracellular nucleotide-mediated stimulation of monocytes, neutrophils, lymphocytes and endothelial cells.