We have studied the actions of helper T lymphocyte-1 and -2 (Th1 and Th2) cells in an acute model of eosinophilic airway inflammation by infusing chicken ovalbumin-specific (OVA-specific) Th1 cells, Th2 cells, or both into unsensitized mice and challenging the mice with an OVA aerosol. OVA challenge after infusion of Th1 cells alone resulted in airway inflammation with lymphocytes and monocytes. Challenge after the infusion of Th2 cells alone resulted in minimal inflammation. In contrast, when Th1 and Th2 cells were transferred together, they cooperated to promote a robust eosinophil-predominant inflammatory response. Th1 cells alone were readily recruited to the airways after challenge, but in the absence of Th1 cells, Th2 cells did not accumulate in the airways. When transferred together, both Th1 and Th2 cells, as well as endogenous eosinophils, were effectively recruited. This recruitment was correlated with increased VCAM-1 expression in the medium- and large-sized vessels of the lung and could be inhibited by treating the mice with neutralizing antibodies to TNF-alpha or VCAM-1. These data indicate that Th2 cells require signals in addition to antigen for their effective recruitment to the airways. Th1 cells can provide these signals.