BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Early in inflammation, adhesion occurs between leukocytes and endothelium where selectins bind to sialyl Lewis x(Sle,) and related oligosaccharides. We tested glycerrhetinic acid(GA), msjor anti-inflammmatory component of licorice, for its ability to inhibit selectin-mediated adhesion of human eosinophils and neutrophils in vitro. MATERIAL AND METHOD: Neutrophils and eosinophils were isolated by density grsdient centrifugation and eosinophils were further purified by immunomagnetic negative selection. Adhesion to unstimulated or IL-1 p-stimulated(5ug/ml, 4-6hr, 37C) umbilical vein endothelial monolayers was tested under static or rotating conditions, where adhesion is E- or L-selectin dependent, respectively. P-selectin-dependent adhesion was tested on immobilized platelets treated with or without TPA(10-7M, 10mins, RT). Stimulus-induced adhesion was always at least four-fold higher than without stimulus, and selectin dependence was confirmed with specific blocking monoclonsl antibody RESULT: All three kinds of selectin-mediated eosinophil and neutrophil adhesion were inhibited by GA and they were reversible without affecting viability. CONCLUSION: The ability of GA to interfere with the selectin mediated adhesion may contribute the one of the mechanism of the anti-inflammatory effects by licorice.