Mitogenesis, cellular aggregation, and motility follow upon the interaction of fibrinogen with certain defined cell surface receptors. In addition to circulating platelets and vascular endothelium, monocytes express what appears to be a receptor for fibrinogen. Evidence is presented here that the leukocyte adhesion receptor Mac-1 can be specifically induced to bind fibrinogen with characteristics immunochemically and functionally distinct from the established Arg-Gly-Asp-directed fibrinogen receptors. The competence of Mac-1 as a fibrinogen receptor is a general property of cells of monocyte and myeloid lineage acquired after maturational changes of some regions of the alpha subunit of Mac-1 during the process of cell differentiation. This ligand recognition specificity of Mac-1 is lacking for the resting cell. Rather, induction of fibrinogen binding capacity of Mac-1 is due to a cellular response to selected agonists characterized by inducing rapid transients of cytosolic Ca2+. Although different in activation pathways and recognition specificity, Mac-1 exhibits an oligospecific ligand versatility characteristic of other homologous Arg-Gly-Asp-directed adhesion receptors.