Adherence of leukocytes to the endothelium is a prerequisite for infiltration and accumulation of cells at an inflammatory site. Recent studies suggest that the CD11/CD18 family of adhesion-promoting receptors plays a crucial role in the initial adherence of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) to endothelium. We have studied the effect of the anti-CD18 monoclonal antibody (MoAb) IB4, on movement of PMN in rabbits. Accumulation of PMNs in the skin induced by a local injection of the chemoattractant, zymosan-activated serum (ZAS), was strongly inhibited, in a dose-dependent fashion, by intravenous injection of IB4. A greater than 95% reduction in PMN accumulation was seen with 1 mg IB4/kg body weight, the highest dose used. PMN-dependent plasma leakage in the ZAS-injected skin sites was also inhibited by pretreatment with MoAb IB4, with a similar dose dependence. Histamine- induced plasma leakage, which is PMN independent, was not affected by this treatment. F(ab)2 fragments of IB4 were as effective as the whole immunoglobulin G molecule in reducing PMN accumulation. The half-life of circulating IB4 in rabbits was found to be 11.5 hours. These results are consistent with in vitro studies that show that binding of PMNs to endothelium requires both expression of CD11/CD18 molecules and activation of the PMNs by agonists, and confirm that sites on CD11/CD18 that recognize endothelial cells are blocked by IB4. Other investigators have shown that injection of chemoattractants into the blood stream causes a rapid neutropenia associated with accumulation of PMNs in the lung. We find that intravenous treatment of animals with IB4 did not block the transient accumulation of PMNs in the lung induced by formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine, suggesting that this accumulation occurs by a mechanism that does not require CD11/CD18 molecules.