The facultative intracellular pathogen, Legionella pneumophila, multiplies within and kills human monocytes and alveolar macrophages. We show that L. pneumophila strain Philadelphia-1 infects, multiplies within and kills the promyelocyte HL-60 cell line after its differentiation into macrophage-like cells. The characteristics of the interaction between L. pneumophila and differentiated HL-60 cells closely resemble those between L. pneumophila and human peripheral blood monocytes. With both cell types, C receptors and serum C mediate attachment of L. pneumophila, which are taken up by coiling phagocytosis. The replicative phagosome is lined with ribosomes; intracellular multiplication is iron-dependent; and replicating bacteria ultimately destroy the host cell. As in human monocytes, an avirulent mutant derivative of L. pneumophila Philadelphia-1, 25D, does not replicate in and is not cytopathic for differentiated HL-60 cells. Differentiated HL-60 cells therefore provide a convenient and faithful model for the study of L. pneumophila-mononuclear phagocyte interaction.