rIL-4 (B cell stimulatory factor 1) induces the expression of Fc epsilon R2/CD23 on normal human monocytes (Mo). Fc epsilon R2/CD23 induction was detectable both by flow cytometry using anti-CD23 mAbs as well as soluble IgE, and by the immunoprecipitation with CD23-specific mAb or IgE of a 45-kD band from 125I-lactoperoxidase-labeled Mo. Fc epsilon R2/CD23 was fully expressed after a 24-h incubation with rIL-4, and was still detectable after 72 h from the addition of IL-4. This effect was specific, because none of the other rILs tested (IL-1, IL-2, IL-3, IL-5, B cell stimulatory factor 2, granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor, and IFN-gamma) could induce FC epsilon R2/CD23, either alone or in various combinations. No synergism was observed between IL-4 and other ILs. IFN-gamma was not able to inhibit the IL-4-induced expression of Fc epsilon R2/CD23 on Mo, neither when added to the culture together with IL-4, nor when added 36 h earlier.