Eosinophils represent major effector cells in the allergic inflammation. In contrast to neutrophils, the mechanism of eosinophil activation during the inflammatory response is poorly understood. In this study, the relation between calcium fluxes, chemotaxis, and actin polymerization in eosinophils from healthy non-atopic donors was investigated. Pre-incubation of eosinophils with the intracellular calcium chelator BAPTA dose-dependently prevented an increase in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i), whereas the depletion of extracellular calcium in the test medium had no effect. The chemotactic response of eosinophils, which was measured by the modified boyden chamber technique upon stimulation with RANTES, C5a and PAF, was dose-dependently inhibited by the chelation of intracellular calcium as well as inactivation of the cells in Ca2+ -depleted medium. To evaluate whether other cell functions which are involved in the migratory response of eosinophils might be dependent on intracellular and extracellular calcium, actin polymerization was investigated. Flow-cytometric measurement of F-actin with NBD-phallacidin revealed that actin polymerization in human eosinophils in response to RANTES, C5a, and PAF was dose-dependently inhibited by the intracellular calcium chelator BAPTA. Since it is well known that actin polymerization in neutrophils is not affected by chelation of intracellular calcium, actin polymerization in these cells was investigated under the same conditions as for eosinophils. In contrast to eosinophils, BAPTA did not inhibit actin polymerization in neutrophils. In summary, these data demonstrate that intracellular calcium fluxes represent a prerequisite for eosinophil chemotaxis and actin polymerization in human eosinophils. Furthermore, regulation of actin polymerization in eosinophils differed from that of neutrophils on the level of intracellular calcium fluxes.