We have examined the roles of Fc receptors and complement receptors in mediating the interaction of sensitized sheep erythrocytes (E) with activated and with nonactivated mouse peritoneal macrophages. Both activated and nonactivated macrophages ingest IgG-coated erythrocytes [E(IgG)]; activated cells intest 1.5-2 times as man E(IgG) as do nonactivated macrophages. Thus, there is a quantitative difference in Fc receptor-mediated ingestion between activated and nonactivated macrophages. There is, however, a qualitative difference in function of complement receptors of activated and nonactivated macrophages. Nonactivated macrophages avidly bind complement-coated E [E(IgM)Ia1, but do not ingest them to a significant degree. Activated macrophages, on the other hand, bind and ingest E(IgM)C. The possibility of Fc receptor participation in mediating ingestion of E(IgM)C by activated macrophages was eliminated by blocking Fc receptors with an antimacrophage IgG fraction. Activated macrophages treated with antimacrophage IgG did not ingest E(igG) but did ingest both E(IgM)C AND E(IgM)C. Nonactivated macrophages treated with antimacrophage IgG did not interact at all with E(IgG). These cells bound, but did not ingest, E(IgM)C and E(IgM)C. Complement receptor-mediated ingestion is a marker for macrophage activation and may be physiologically important in the elimination of complement-coated particles.