Small amounts (10(-10) mol) of purified human chemotactic factor inactivator (CFI) suppress leukocytic infiltration, permeability changes, and hemorrhage associated with acute immune complex-induced injury in rats. The reversed passive dermal Arthus reaction and acute immune complex-induced alveolitis in rats have served as the model systems of inflammation. The mechanism of inhibition does not appear to relate to interference with formation and deposition of immune complexes, or with fixation of complement in vitro or iv vivo. Human CFI inhibits in vitro the chemotactic activity generated in complement-activated rat serum. The inhibitory effects of human CFI are not seen if it is first heat inactivated. The data provide the first direct support for the conclusion that CFI has anti-inflammatory activity.