We report an investigation of peripheral blood polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) from untreated patients with mild, quiescent psoriasis. Four aspects of the 'metabolic burst' were measured to illustrate phagocytosis-related events. These were: myeloperoxidase activity, hydrogen peroxide release, superoxide production and luminol-amplified chemiluminescence. Our study does not support the concept of an intrinsic abnormality of the PMN in psoriasis, but provides additional evidence for disease activity-dependent changes in phagocytic behaviour. Possible interactions with certain humoral factors, the so-called opsonins, are discussed.