Normal human blood neutrophils were studied for their capacity to synthesize and release interleukin-1 (IL-1) species after phagocytosis of triclinic monosodium urate (MSU) and calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystals (CPPD). MSU crystals were more potent inducers of IL-1 generation than CPPD or unopsonized zymosan. Microcrystal-stimulated neutrophils characteristically secreted most of the newly synthesized IL-1. Colchicine partly inhibited the secretion of IL-1 by neutrophils during phagocytosis of solid particles. However, colchicine selectively inhibited IL-1 synthesis induced by microcrystals. These results suggest that neutrophil-derived IL-1 may contribute to the pathogenesis of crystal-induced arthritis.