Asthma is characterized by appearance of eosinophils in the airway. Eosinophils purified from the airway 48 h after segmental antigen challenge are described as exhibiting greater adhesion to albumin-coated surfaces via an unidentified beta2 integrin and increased expression of alphaMbeta2 (CD11b/18) compared with purified blood eosinophils. We have investigated the determinants of this hyperadhesive phenotype. Airway eosinophils exhibited increased reactivity with the CBRM1/5 anti-alphaM activation-sensitive antibody as well as enhanced adhesion to VCAM-1 (CD106) and diverse ligands, including albumin, ICAM-1 (CD54), fibrinogen, and vitronectin. Purified blood eosinophils did not adhere to the latter diverse ligands. Enhanced adhesion of airway eosinophils was blocked by anti-alphaMbeta2. Podosomes, structures implicated in cell movement and proteolysis of matrix proteins, were larger and more common on airway eosinophils adherent to VCAM-1 when compared with blood eosinophils. Incubation of blood eosinophils with IL-5 replicated the phenotype of airway eosinophils. That is, IL-5 enhanced recognition of alphaM by CBRM1/5; stimulated alphaMbeta2-mediated adhesion to VCAM-1, albumin, ICAM-1, fibrinogen, and vitronectin; and increased podosome formation on VCAM-1. Thus, the hyperadhesion of airway eosinophils after antigen challenge is mediated by upregulated and activated alphaMbeta2.