The effects of recombinant human (rh) interleukin (IL)-4 or rhIL-13 on survival, and chemotactic activity of human eosinophils were examined. Only rhIL-13 prolonged eosinophil survival in a dose-dependent manner above 3 ng/ml. Eosinophil survival induced by rhIL-13 was inhibited by monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against IL-3 (p < 0.01) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) (p < 0.05), suggesting that rhIL-13 induced IL-3 and GM-CSF production from eosinophils and an autocrine mechanism is responsible for the eosinophil survival. The effects of rhIL-13 on eosinophil chemotactic activity were also examined. rhIL-13 showed chemotactic activity for eosinophils in a dose-dependent manner. Checkerboard analysis revealed that eosinophil migration was dependent on the concentration gradient, confirming that rhIL-13 is a chemotactic factor. rhIL-4 showed no effects. IL-13 may play an important role in the survival and recruitment of eosinophils in allergic diseases.