Concanavalin A (conA) modulates the lateral mobility of cell surface receptors differently on different cell types. This was demonstrated by using fluorescence photobleaching recovery (FPR) to measure the inhibition of the lateral mobility of conA receptors by localized binding of conA on lymphocytes, fibroblasts, and macrophages. On mouse spleen lymphocytes, binding of conA platelets above a threshold coverage (about 12% of the upper cell-surface area) reduced the diffusion coefficient of mobile TMR-SconA-receptor complexes from 3.0×10-10 cm2/sec to 0.6× 10-10 cm2/sec (a 5-fold decrease), and the fraction of mobile receptors was concomitantly reduced from 0.4 to 0.11. Below the threshold occupancy, no effect on either parameter was detected. On 3T3 cells, a qualitatively similar threshold phenomenon was observed: coverage of over 9% of the upper cell surface by conA platelets induced a 3-fold reduction in the diffusion coefficient of TMR-SconA-receptor complexes from 5×10-10 cm2/sec to 1.7× 10-10 cm2/sec. However, no effect on the mobile fraction (about 0.4) was observed. In contrast, neither the diffusion coefficient nor the mobile fraction of TMR-SconA-receptor complexes on mouse peritoneal macrophages (both resident and thioglycolate-stimulated) or on the mouse macrophage cell line P388D1 were affected by the binding of conA platelets in amounts covering over 50% of the upper cell surface (approx. 4.6× 10-10 cm2/sec and 0.5 for the diffusion coefficient and mobile fraction, respectively). These differences are correlated to the different cytoskeletal functions of the various cell types studied, and are discussed regarding the mechanism of the conA-induced modulation.