CTLA-4 is a co-receptor that modulates the threshold of T cell activation and autoimmunity. We previously showed that CTLA-4 reverses the TCR-mediated stop signal needed for T cell/APC interactions [Schneider et al., Science 2006, 313: 1972]. In this study, using a different T cell system, we show that CTLA-4 expression changed the behavior of T8.1 T cells by reducing the contact time between T cell and APC, preventing re-inforced contacts, and reducing the contact area at the immunological synapse. This led to a major reduction in Ca(2+) influx/mobilization and interleukin-2 production. Further, anti-CD3/CTLA-4 increased T cell motility on antibody-coated glass slides, concurrent with an abrogation of ZAP70 microcluster formation. Our findings further support a role for CTLA-4 in limiting the interaction between T cell and APC that is needed for optimal activation.