Numerous studies have shown that catecholamines can modulate lymphocyte migration. This effect may be mediated in part by modulation of lymphocyte-endothelial cell interactions, which is dependent on adhesion molecules expressed on both of these cells. Our results show that catecholamines decreased T-cell binding to IL-1 activated endothelial cells in vitro. The decrease in adhesion was not mediated by a change in adhesion molecule expression as LFA-1 and VLA-4 expression on T-cells and ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression on endothelial cells were not changed by catecholamine stimulation. T-cells flatten and enlarge the area of surface contact as they adhere to endothelial cells. Image analysis of the number of T-cells bound and the amount of cell spreading over several time points suggests that catecholamines alter the kinetics of T-cell-endothelial cell adhesion. These results support the hypothesis that catecholamines can alter lymphocyte-endothelial interactions in vivo, which in turn would affect lymphocyte migration.