In order to determine the role of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and of interleukin-5 (IL-5) in causing antigen-induced eosinophil infiltration into the site of airway late-phase reaction, we examined the effect of the in vivo depletion of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells on the eosinophil infiltration of the trachea induced by antigen inhalation in mice. We also studied the effect of anti-murine IL-5 monoclonal antibody (mAb) on the antigen-induced eosinophil infiltration in the trachea. The eosinophil infiltration into the trachea of ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized BALB/c mice began to increase 9 h after OVA inhalation and persisted for more than 48 h. The in vivo depletion of CD4+ T-cells by pretreatment with anti-L3T4 mAb significantly decreased the eosinophil infiltration induced by OVA inhalation in the trachea of sensitized mice. However, the in vivo depletion of CD8+ T-cells by pretreatment with anti-Lyt-2 mAb had no significant effect on OVA-induced eosinophil infiltration in the trachea. Pretreatment with anti-murine IL-5 mAb also decreased OVA-induced eosinophil infiltration in the trachea. In contrast, neither disodium cromoglycate nor a selective antagonist for platelet-activating factor CV-6209 decreased OVA-induced airway eosinophilia in the mouse. Our results provide direct evidence that CD4+ but not CD8+ T-cells mediate antigen-induced eosinophil recruitment in the airways and that IL-5 mediates this eosinophil recruitment.