Human CD31 is a recently characterized molecule present on leukocytes, platelets, and endothelium. Its function is not known. Because it is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily and structurally homologous to carcinoembryonic antigen, a putative intercellular adhesion molecule, it is believed that CD31 may function also as an adhesion molecule. In this report, we characterize the cellular reactivity of a monoclonal antibody to a murine protein that is homologous to CD31. To delineate the cellular reactivity of the murine CD31 homologue recognized by our monoclonal antibody, we used immunoperoxidase and immunoelectron microscopic techniques. The most striking finding was that the putative murine homolog of CD31 is expressed in particularly high amounts on endothelium-adherent lymphocytes transmigrating across sinusoidal or venular vascular boundaries. Such a distribution was apparent in draining murine lymph nodes during the peak of an immune response after immunization with a protein antigen in adjuvant, a situation in which there are many transmigrating lymphocytes. Immunoelectron microscopic analysis also shows that CD31 is predominantly distributed on portions of transmigrating lymphocytes that are in contact with or adjacent to areas of contact with endothelial cells. These findings suggest a previously undescribed role for CD31 in lymphocyte recruitment and transmigration.