1. Sequestration of leucocytes in the lung is the net result of leucocyte rolling and sticking in pulmonary arterioles and venules and their retention in alveolar capillaries. 2. In order to investigate whether adhesion molecules of the selectin family contribute to these phenomena the effects of fucoidin (an inhibitor of L- and P-selectin) on microhaemodynamics and leucocyte kinetic were studied in pulmonary arterioles, capillaries and venules by means of intravital fluorescence microscopy in a rabbit model. 3. Fucoidin reduced leucocyte rolling in pulmonary arterioles and venules by 75 and 83%, respectively, without affecting leucocyte sticking. In alveolar capillaries, fucoidin reduced leucocyte retention and accelerated leucocyte passage, thus reducing the alveolar transit time of leucocytes by 62%. 4. It is concluded that rolling of leucocytes in pulmonary microvessels is mediated by selectins, whereas sticking relies on selectin-independent mechanisms. 5. Leucocyte retention in alveolar capillaries is not due solely to mechanical hindrance of leucocyte passage through narrow vessel segments, as previously hypothesized, but also depends on interaction of leucocytes with the capillary endothelium.