The kinetics of the response of integrins to activating signal(s) must be rapid to ensure that rolling neutrophils are localized at the sites of inflammation. From video records, we analyzed the adhesion of individual neutrophils in a flow-based in vitro model of endothelial hypoxia and reoxygenation. There were numerous rolling interactions between flowing neutrophils and P-selectin on human umbilical vein endothelial cells after hypoxia, but 90% lasted for < 1 s, with approximately 30% converted to stationary attachment via beta 2-integrin(s). Interleukin-8 (IL-8) and platelet-activating factor (PAF) were responsible for neutrophil activation in this model [G. E Rainger, A. Fisher, C. Shearman, and G. B. Nash. Am. J. Physiol. 269 (Heart Circ. Physiol. 38): H1398-H1406, 1995]. In the presence of a PAF-receptor antagonist, IL-8 acting alone induced conversion of rolling to stationary adhesion in as little as 80 ms after the initial attachment of a neutrophil, with a median response time of 240 ms. In the presence of a monoclonal antibody that neutralized IL-8 activity, PAF acting alone required a minimum duration of rolling of 560 ms to promote stationary adhesion, with a significantly longer median duration of 720 ms. In a reconstituted model, treatment of endothelial cells with hydrogen peroxide induced short-lived rolling of neutrophils supported by P-selectin. Exogenously added IL-8 and/or PAF bound to the endothelial surface and successfully induced the immobilization of neutrophils. Rapid and distinct kinetics of the conversion to stationary adhesion were observed again for IL-8 or PAF. Thus although endothelial-presented signals differed in their rate of action, neutrophils could be localized within one or two endothelial cell diameters of their initial adhesive contact point.