Lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) is a leukocyte cell surface glycoprotein that promotes intercellular adhesion in immunological and inflammatory reactions. It is an alpha beta complex that is structurally related to receptors for extracellular matrix components, and thus belongs to the integrin family. ICAM-1 (intercellular adhesion molecule-1) is a distinct cell surface glycoprotein. Its broad distribution, regulated expression in inflammation, and involvement in LFA-1-dependent cell-cell adhesion have suggested that ICAM-1 may be a ligand for LFA-1. We have purified ICAM-1 and incorporated it into artificial supported lipid membranes. LFA-1+ but not LFA-1- cells bound to ICAM-1 in the artificial membranes, and the binding could be specifically inhibited by anti-ICAM-1 treatment of the membranes or by anti-LFA-1 treatment of the cells. The cell binding to ICAM-1 required metabolic energy production, an intact cytoskeleton, and the presence of Mg2+ and was temperature dependent, characteristics of LFA-1- and ICAM-1-dependent cell-cell adhesion.