Several structural homologues of the chemotactic peptide neutrophil-activating peptide 1/IL-8 (NAP-1/IL-8) were tested for their ability to influence the expression and function of adhesion-promoting receptors on human polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN). NAP-2, melanoma growth stimulatory activity, and two forms of NAP-1/IL-8 (ser-NAP-1/IL-8 and ala-NAP-1/IL-8, consisting of 72 and 77 amino acids, respectively), each caused an increase in the expression of CD11b/CD18 (CR3) and CR1, which was accompanied by a decrease in the expression of leukocyte adhesion molecule-1 (LAM-1, LECAM-1). The binding activity of CD11b/CD18 was also enhanced 3- to 10-fold by these peptides, but enhanced function was transient: binding of erythrocytes coated with C3bi reached a maximum by 30 min and declined thereafter. Ser-NAP-1/IL-8, ala-NAP-1/IL-8, NAP-2, and melanoma growth stimulatory activity also caused a two- to threefold enhancement of the phagocytosis of IgG-coated erythrocytes (EIgG) by PMN without causing a large increase in the expression of Fc gamma receptors. Enhanced phagocytosis of EIgG appeared to be mediated through CD11b/CD18, because F(ab')2 fragments of an antibody directed against CD18 inhibited NAP-1/IL-8-stimulated ingestion of EIgG. The four active peptides caused a rapid, transient increase in the amount of F-actin within PMN, indicating that they are capable of influencing the structure of the microfilamentous cytoskeleton, which participates in phagocytosis. Two other NAP-1/IL-8-related peptides, platelet factor 4 and connective tissue-activating peptide III, were without effect on expression of CD11b/CD18, CR1, and LAM-1, binding activity of CD11b/CD18, or Fc-mediated phagocytosis, and increased actin polymerization only slightly. Our observations indicate that several members of the NAP-1/IL-8 family of peptides were capable of promoting integrin-mediated adhesion and Fc-mediated phagocytosis, processes important in the recruitment of PMN to sites of inflammation and antimicrobial responses of PMN.