The selective accumulation of different leucocyte populations during inflammation is regulated by adhesion molecules and chemokines expressed by vascular endothelium. This study examined how chemokine production and the expression of adhesion molecules and chemokine receptors vary between endothelia from different vascular beds. Human saphenous vein endothelium was compared with lung and dermal microvascular endothelia and with umbilical vein endothelium and a bone-marrow endothelial cell line. All endothelia produced CCL2 and CXCL8 constitutively, whereas CXCL10 and CCL5 were only secreted after tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha or interferon (IFN)-gamma stimulation. In combination with TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma suppressed CXCL8 but enhanced CCL5 and CXCL10, whereas transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta reduced secretion of all chemokines. Basal chemokine secretion was higher from umbilical vein than other endothelial cells. Chemokine receptors, CXCR1, CXCR3 and CCR3, were present on all endothelia but highest on saphenous vein. CCR4, CCR5, CCR6, CXCR2, CXCR4 and CXCR5 were also detected at variable levels on different endothelia. The variation between endothelia in chemokine secretion was much greater than the variations in adhesion molecules, both on resting cells and following cytokine stimulation. These results indicate that it is the tissue-specific variations in endothelial chemokine secretion rather than variations in adhesion molecules that can explain the different patterns of inflammation and leucocyte traffic seen in non-lymphoid tissues.