The C-X-C chemokines are a structurally related and functionally redundant family of proteins with neutrophil chemotactic activity. Many of the C-X-C chemokines are produced by endotoxin-stimulated alveolar macrophages (AMs), but knowledge of their relative quantities and their relative contributions to the total chemotactic activity released from these cells is incomplete. Human AMs were stimulated with or without Escherichia coli endotoxin for 2, 4, 8, and 24 h. The mRNA sequences of interleukin (IL)-8, the 78-amino acid epithelial cell-derived neutrophil activator (ENA-78), growth-related protein (GRO) alpha, GRObeta, and GROgamma were cloned by PCR and identified by sequence analysis. The relative mRNA quantities were compared by Northern analysis, and IL-8 was found to predominate. Similarly, IL-8 protein concentrations in the cell supernatants were consistently higher than either the ENA-78 or GRO concentration, and by 24 h, IL-8 concentrations were 10-fold higher than those of the other C-X-C chemokines. Blocking polyclonal antibodies to IL-8 substantially reduced the chemotactic activity in the AM supernatants, whereas antibodies to ENA-78 and GRO had little or no effect. We conclude that IL-8 is the predominant C-X-C chemokine and the dominant neutrophil chemoattractant accumulating in 24-h supernatants of lipopolysaccharide-stimulated human AMs. These studies provide insight into potentially effective strategies of interrupting AM-derived inflammatory signals in the lungs.