The adhesive interactions of eosinophils with purified E-, P-, and L-selectins; vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 molecule; and HUVEC were examined in shear flow. Compared with neutrophils, eosinophils showed markedly less binding to E-selectin, but significantly stronger avidity for P-selectin. Both cell types showed a similar level of tethering and rolling on L-selectin. Eosinophils tethered and arrested abruptly on vascular cell adhesion molecule-1. However, some of the tethers were detached within several seconds; this was prevented by stimulation with eotaxin. Eosinophils also showed immediate arrest on HUVEC stimulated with 100 U/ml TNF-alpha for 6 h. Treatment with L-selectin mAb decreased eosinophil accumulation on the HUVEC by abrogating secondary tethers through interactions between flowing and attached eosinophils. mAb to P-selectin but not to E-selectin strongly inhibited primary tethers and accumulation of eosinophils. mAb to the integrin alpha 4 subunit inhibited arrest, induced rolling or detachment of tethered eosinophils, and resulted in partial reduction of eosinophil accumulation. mAb to the integrin beta 2 subunit had only a slight effect, whereas treatment with mAb to the integrin alpha 4 and beta 2 subunits together abolished rolling interactions as well as arrest, and thus almost totally inhibited eosinophil accumulation. Our data indicate that P-selectin, but not E-selectin, is directly involved in eosinophil tethering on inflammatory endothelium while L-selectin mainly mediates intereosinophil interaction. VLA-4 has a crucial role in eosinophil arrest, and arrest is enhanced by exposure to chemoattractants.