The functional characteristics of neutrophils are exceedingly sensitive to physiological conditions as well as the details of isolation. Exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or even contamination of the isolating media with traces of LPS is known to play an important role in regulating cell function and expression of receptors. Because of the suspected role of CD14 as a receptor for LPS, we used anti-CD14 monoclonal antibodies both to identify CD14 in the cell surface of polymorphonuclear leukocytes and to inhibit functional changes elicited by LPS. Cytometric techniques were used to investigate the regulation of CD14 and CR3 on the neutrophil cell surface in whole blood to minimize any effects of isolation. In whole blood neutrophil express low levels of formyl peptide receptor, CD14, and CR3, which increase substantially in response to formyl peptide and LPS. The increases in CR3 and CD14 occurred in parallel and were independent of protein synthesis and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) production. The increase in CR3 was inhibited by antibodies MY4, 3C10, and 28C5 against CD14. These findings are consistent with the notion that in blood the observed receptor up-regulation is in direct response to the action of LPS on neutrophils through CD14 and does not require products from macrophages such as TNF or the production of C5a from the plasma.