Interleukin-8 (IL-8) stimulated an increase in cytoplasmic-free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) and intracellular pH (pHi) in parallel at low concentrations (0.5 to 5 ng/mL), and stimulated O2- release and membrane depolarization in parallel at high concentrations (50 to 5,000 ng/mL). IL-8-induced O2- release was potentiated by tumor necrosis factor (TNF), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and granulocyte-CSF (G-CSF) in a dose-dependent manner, whereas it was inhibited by cyclic AMP agonists. These characteristics and the time- courses of the responses stimulated by IL-8 were similar to those stimulated by N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (FMLP), except that the cells stimulated by IL-8 showed shorter duration and less magnitude in some responses. In addition, IL-8 was found to be a potent priming agent and to enhance O2- release stimulated by FMLP. The priming effect of IL-8 was very rapid and was maximal within 5 minutes of preincubation. The dose-response curves for priming were identical to those for triggering of an increase in [Ca2+]i and pHi. The potency of the maximal priming effects on FMLP-induced O2- release was TNF greater than GM-CSF greater than IL-8 greater than G-CSF. The combination of IL-8 and the suboptimal concentrations of TNF or GM-CSF resulted in the additive priming effect, whereas the combination of the optimal concentration of IL-8 and the optimal concentration of TNF, GM- CSF, or G-CSF resulted in the effect of more potent priming agent alone. These findings suggest that IL-8 stimulates or primes human neutrophils according to its concentrations and cross-talks with TNF, GM-CSF, G-CSF, or FMLP at the inflammatory sites.