Abstract Glyoxalase I and II catalyze the formation and breakdown of S-lactoylglutathione respectively. Recent studies have implicated this com-pound as a possible mediator of immune and inflammatory responses. Incubation of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes with the tumor promoter, 12-0-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate has been found to affect the activities of both glyoxalase enzymes in an interrelated manner. The diester either increases the activity of glyoxalase I or decreases the activity of glyoxalase II or has both effects. It is suggested that a subsequent increase in S-lactoylglutathione might mediate some or all of the effects of the phorbol diesters.