The presence of receptors for IgG Fc and fragments of C3 on primary cultures and cryostat sections of normal and rheumatoid synovial tissues was assessed. Significant proportions of large rounded cells with asteroid projections found in such cultures had receptors for both IgG Fc and fragments of C3. Moreover, Gram negative bacteria that had fixed complement, but not EAC, bound in a linear fashion on the superficial layers of synovial cryostat sections. On the basis of morphologic and histochemical criteria, the cultured cells bearing these receptors were tentatively determined to represent a subset of synovial lining cells. The possible role of such receptors on synovial lining cells in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis is discussed.