This investigation focused on the role played by cold-insoluble globulin (CIg, plasma fibronectin) in monocyte function. Surface-bound CIg mediated a concentration-dependent of human blood monocytes to gelatin-coated surfaces. CIg also mediated the binding of gelatin-coated particles such as latex beads or tanned erythrocytes to surface-bound human monocytes. However, CIg did not mediate particle ingestion. Subfractionated CIg that was highly enriched in monomeric forms (zone II CIg, mol wt 190,000-235,000) was less effective than were fractions enriched in dimeric forms (zone I CIg, mol wt 450,000) in promoting monocyte attachment. Binding of CIg to a gelatin or plastic surface occurred in the absence of divalent cations, but monocyte attachment to CIg-coated surfaces required divalent cations, Mg++ being much more effective than Ca++. Cation-dependent cell attachment was reversible in that bound cells could be released by treatment with EDTA. Serum-mediated binding of monocytes to gelatin-coated plastic dishes was a result of its content of CIg because the binding activity was abolished by removal of CIg from serum, and could be restored by readdition of purified CIg. Treatment of monocytes with trypsin abolished subsequent cell attachment to CIg-gelatin surfaces or particles. Expression of certain other known monocyte membrane receptors (Fc and C3b) was markedly enhanced as a result of CIg-monocyte interaction. These several observations indicate that monocytes bear membrane receptors (termed receptor cold-insoluble globulin) for surface-bound CIg.