We compared the phagocytosis of immune complexes (IC) and iC3b-opsonized derivatives (iC3b-IC) by human neutrophils. The phagocytosis of iC3b-IC via Fc gamma R and CR3 was much greater than that of IC via Fc gamma R alone. Adding ethanol to the cells decreased iC3b-IC phagocytosis to that of IC, which was not affected by these reagents, suggesting that the enhanced phagocytosis is attributable to CR3-mediated phospholipase D activation. The IC phagocytosis was inhibited more effectively by anti-Fc gamma IIIB, whereas the iC3b-IC phagocytosis was partly inhibited only by anti-Fc gamma RII. The main Fc gamma R might differ in IC and iC3b-IC phagocytosis.