The integrin LFA-1 and its ligand ICAM-1 mediate B cell adhesion, but their role in membrane-bound antigen recognition is still unknown. Here, using planar lipid bilayers and cells expressing ICAM-1 fused to green fluorescence protein, we found that the engagement of B cell receptor (BCR) promotes B cell adhesion by an LFA-1-mediated mechanism. LFA-1 is recruited to form a mature B cell synapse segregating into a ring around the BCR. This distribution is maintained over a wide range of BCR/antigen affinities (10(6) M(-1) to 10(11) M(-1)). Furthermore, the LFA-1 binding to ICAM-1 reduces the level of antigen required to form the synapse and trigger a B cell. Thus, LFA-1/ICAM-1 interaction lowers the threshold for B cell activation by promoting B cell adhesion and synapse formation.