Abstract : The relationship of total and differential blood leukocyte counts with bronchial methacholine response was studied in a population-based sample of 324 men. Geometric mean total leukocyte counts were significantly higher in reactors (6567 cells/mm3) than in nonreactors (5732 cells/mm3; p = 0.003). After adjusting for smoking habits, a factor contributing to both an elevation in peripheral leukocyte count and an increased level of airway responsiveness, reactor status remained significantly associated with leukocyte count. This association also persisted after controlling, with a logistic model, for atopy and common cold (marker of infection) and after excluding men with a history of asthma, chronic bronchitis, or low FEV1. Study of the differential leukocyte counts has shown that an increase was present for almost every type of leukocyte, and particularly evident for neutrophils. Whether these findings reflect an association between bronchial hyperresponsiveness and cellular inflammation needs more investigation.