Large doses of hydrocortisone, cyclophosphamide, and methotrexate injected subcutaneously, and whole-body irradiation (500 rads) caused a reduction in the number of peritoneal cells (PE cells) obtained after intraperitoneal injection of the treated mice with proteose-peptone. The same dose of cyclophosphamide and irradiation induced morphological changes in PE macrophages. There were more giant cells in the peritoneal exudates from treated mice as compared to control mice. 'Pharmacological' and larger doses of hydrocortisone, methotrexate and azathioprine or anti-lymphocyte globulin had no effect on the in vitro phagocytic capacity of proteose-peptone-stimulated mouse PE macrophages. This also applied to doses of up to 50 mg/kg of cyclophosphamide. In contrast, whole-body irradiation (500 rad) and 100 mg/kg of cyclophosphamide decreased the phagocytic capacity of mouse macrophages in vitro and reduced the ability of PE cells to degrade 125I-labelled HSA-antibody complexes in vitro. The greatest effect was noted 4-5 days after whole-body irradiation or four to five subcutaneous injections of cyclophosphamide.