Leukocyte rolling in venules is inhibited by several sulfated polysaccharides, by antibodies to the leukocyte adhesion receptor L- selectin (LECAM-1), and by recombinant soluble L-selectin. The sulfated fucose polymer fucoidin and the polyphosphomannan PPME bind to L- selectin and inhibit L-selectin-mediated lymphocyte adhesion to lymph node high endothelial venules (LN-HEV). We investigated whether fucoidin and PPME also inhibit leukocyte rolling. Rolling leukocyte flux was determined by intravital microscopy in 47 venules (diameter 21 to 50 microns) of the rat mesentery with and without micro-infusion of each reagent through 8-microns glass micropipettes. Micro-infusion (1 mg/mL) or intravenous (IV) injection (25 mg/kg) of fucoidin, but not vehicle, reduced leukocyte rolling by greater than 90%. The half- effective concentration was approximately 2.5 micrograms/mL. Stroboscopic fluorescence video microscopy showed that fucoidin decreased the fraction of rolling leukocytes from 44% of all leukocytes passing the venules in control to less than 1%. PPME micro-infusion (1 mg/mL) or IV injection (14 mg/kg) did not reduce leukocyte rolling. Hence, leukocyte rolling differs from lymphocyte homing with respect to the effect of PPME. This may be related to fucoidin binding to L- selectin with greater affinity than PPME. Alternatively, inflamed venular endothelium may express a ligand for L-selectin different from that constitutively expressed on LN-HEV.