Human fibronectin was isolated from second-trimester amniotic fluid, from amniotic fluid obtained at term and from adult plasma. The amniotic-fluid fibronectins had a slightly higher apparent molecular weight on sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis than the plasma fibronectin. Early- and late-amniotic-fluid fibronectin had 9.5 and 9.6% carbohydrate respectively, whereas plasma fibronectin had 5.8%. The amniotic-fluid fibronectins had similar mannose and sialic acid contents to plasma fibronectin, but greater amounts of glucosamine, galactosamine, galactose and fucose. There were no detectable differences in the amino-acid composition of amniotic-fluid and plasma fibronectins, and the patterns of peptides obtained after tryptic digestion of fibronectin from the two sources showed extensive similarities. Fibronectins from plasma and amniotic fluid were equally active in promoting cell attachment and were immunologically indistinguishable. These results show that fibronectin from amniotic fluid is more heavily glycosylated than plasma fibronectin or previously analysed fibronectins from cultured fibroblasts. The observed differences in glycosylation may be related to cell type and/or stage of development.