Human neutrophils are primed in the presence of complexes of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with its serum binding protein (LBP) in a manner dependent on CD14. Cellular consequences of priming include increased responsiveness, the upregulation of surface proteins including the adhesive integrin CD11b/CD18 (Mac-1), the increased binding of certain ligands to CD11b/CD18, and the concurrent shedding of the L-selectin homing receptor. Because expression of both CD11b/CD18 and L-selectin is obligatory for formyl peptide-stimulated neutrophil aggregation in vitro (Simon et al, Blood 82:1097, 1993), we have examined the consequences of bacterial endotoxin on the expression of neutrophil adhesive molecules. We observed that the exposure of neutrophils to LPS/LBP, while enhancing the surface numbers and adhesive function of CD11b/CD18 for latex particles, did not induce aggregation. In contrast, as the LPS/LBP concentration increased (ED50 = 30 ng/mL LPS/LBP), the ability of neutrophils to aggregate decreased in parallel with the shedding of L-selectin. Moreover, when L-selectin adhesive activity was blocked by treatment with Fab fragments of Dreg- 200, aggregation was inhibited to an extent roughly proportional to the available L-selection. Blocking of LPS/LBP with CD14-specific monoclonal antibodies suppressed L-selectin shedding and preserved formyl peptide-stimulated aggregation. Taken together, the data suggest that inhibition of neutrophil aggregation by LPS/LBP is related to the expression of L-selectin via CD14 rather than LPS inhibition of CD11b/CD18 function during cellular stimulation.