CD11b/CD18 (Mac-1) is a member of the leukocyte integrin family, a group of receptors that have been implicated in various effector functions and cellular collaboration in the immune response. It has been shown previously that CD11b/CD18 on cells of monocyte and myeloid lineage appears to undergo rapid activation and acquire new functional receptor specificities after exposure to selected agonists such as adenosine diphosphate (ADP). We now show that ADP induces a reconformation of the CD11b/CD18 receptor with exposure of new epitopes characteristics of this activated state. By direct binding studies, flow cytometry, and immunoprecipitation experiments, it has been found that the mAb 7E3 reacts with CD11b/CD18 only after ADP-stimulation of the cell suspension. The activated state of CD11b/CD18 induced by ADP and recognized by 7E3 can also be recapitulated by agonists inducing transients in cytosolic Ca2+ such as the chemoattractant FMLP. Moreover, this process of receptor activation does not involve quantitative mobilization of the subcellular storage pool of CD11b/CD18 to the plasma membrane. Because 7E3 also recognizes a qualitative, ADP-mediated activated state of the platelet adhesion receptor GP IIb/IIIa, it is suggested that transients in cytosolic Ca2+ might represent early secondary events for a general pathway of rapid activation of integrin receptors and, as such, represent important signals for cellular interactions in the immune response.