A single intraarticular injection of carrageenin into the rabbit knee joint initiates an inflammatory reaction in the synovial tissues. the exudate from the joint was able to degrade proteoglycan at pH 5.2 and pH 7.2. Further characterization of proteolytic enzymes in the inflamed synovial tissues showed the presence of cathepsin D, a neutral protease, and cathepsin B1. Maximum activities of two lysosomal enzymes, acid phosphatase and cathepsin D, were observed within 7 days of injection. Most of this activity was found to be associated with cells in the synovial fluid.