Various methods for testing the quality of radioligands were applied to two different radiolabelled forms of formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMet-Leu-Phe). The purpose of the study was both to examine the value of these methods for assessing radioligand quality and to determine the suitability of these particular radioligands for studying the chemotactic formylpeptide receptors on the rabbit neutrophil. It is useful in this context to distinguish two different aspects of radioligand quality: these are purity and equivalence to the native ligand. The two methods described for measuring receptor-reactivity (or 'bindability'), by measuring binding to an increasing excess of receptors and by a re-incubation procedure, provide a reliable measure of purity that should readily be applicable to other radioligands. Equivalence to the native ligand is more difficult to establish, and any uncertainty about the specific radioactivity of the radioligand can pose serious problems with this assessment. Commercial preparations of both tritiated and 35S-labelled fMet-Leu-Phe were found to be inadequately pure for detailed receptor studies. Repurification by t.l.c., however, consistently yielded radioligand preparations of high purity and close equivalence to the native ligand. Other radioligands may often also require a suitable repurification step before use for detailed receptor studies; this is especially important whenever a complex receptor-binding pattern is envisaged.