- Human peripheral blood monocytes can be separated into two subpopulations which differ in the efficiency of their adherence to glass after 16 hours of incubation. The adherent subpopulation was found to be about twice as effective in binding mannose-resistant E. coli 0-124, mannose-sensitive E. coli 0-128 and opsonised E. coli than the nonadherent one. In addition, reduction of cytochrome C in response to E. coli binding or 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) stimulation was two fold higher in adherent cells. The binding of E. coli O-124 and the superoxide generation stimulated by E. coli were inhibited by the addition of mannose only in the adherent monocytes, indicating the presence of mannose receptors on the cell surface in the adherent subpopulation. The treatment of the nonadherent cells with 0.1-1000 U/ml of Interferon (IFN-gamma) for 24 hours resulted in a dose dependent increase in superoxide generation. After 72 hours of incubation with IFN-gamma (1000 U/ml) the amount of superoxide generated by the nonadherent cells was elevated to 20.5 +/- 1.4 nmoles/10(6) cells/15 min, similar to that of the adherent cells (24.5 +/- 1.2 nmoles/10(6) cells/15 min untreated adherent monocytes). The generation of superoxide in the IFN-gamma treated nonadherent monocytes stimulated by E. coli 0-128 was significantly reduced by addition of mannose.