Subcutaneous injection of sterile air in rodents results in the formation of an air pouch with a lining morphologically similar to synovium (Edwards et al., 1981) . We extended the comparison between pouch and synovial tissue and confirmed broad similarities in structure and function but also noted important differences. The air pouch was used to study the time course of the acute inflammatory response to heat aggregated human IgG. Saline washout of the pouch allowed simultaneous measurement of cellular and mediator components of the inflammatory exudate. The aggregates were rapidly phagocytosed by the pouch lining cells, resulting in acute inflammation characterised by polymorphonuclear leucocyte infiltration with peak numbers in the exudate at 12 hours, temporally dissociated from the earlier peak of PGE2 at 3 hours.