The actual mechanisms responsible for lymph node metastasis in gastric cancer are still unclear. To investigate the mechanisms of lymph node metastasis in gastric cancer, we established a lymph node metastatic model for human scirrhous gastric carcinoma. Lymph node metastasis had frequently developed after orthotopic implantation of OCUM-2M LN derived from a scirrhous gastric cancer cell line, OCUM-2M, which had low capacity for lymph node metastasis. We elucidated the different characteristics including binding ability, migratory capacity and immunoresponses induced by the cell surface molecules of these two cell lines. The binding ability to Matrigel and migratory capacity of OCUM-2M LN cells were significantly greater than those of OCUM-2M cells. On flow cytometric analysis, both OCUM-2M and OCUM-2M LN cells strongly expressed HLA-I (99.5 and 97.1%) and LFA-3 (76.6 and 99.2%) in level of expression between the two cell lines, but neither cell line expressed HLA-II (0.0 and 0.0%), B7-1 (0.0 and 0.0%) or B7-2 (0.4 and 0.3%). ICAM-1 expression in OCUM-2M LN cells was weaker (0.7%) than that in OCUM-2M cells (36.8%). Strong adhesiveness and cytotoxicity of mononuclear lymphocytes for OCUM-2M cells were observed in adhesion and cytotoxic assays, both of which were significantly decreased by the addition of anti-ICAM-1 antibodies. On the other hand, the adhesiveness and cytotoxicity of OCUM-2M LN cells were significantly less than those of OCUM-2M cells, and were not affected by the addition of anti-ICAM-1 antibodies. These findings suggest that decreased ICAM-1 expression in a new gastric cancer cell line with a high rate of lymph node metastasis may in turn decrease immune responses mediated through LFA-1-dependent effector cell adhesion, and that this escape from the immunosurveillance system may be one of the factors inducing lymph node metastasis. In conclusion, we established a gastric cancer cell line, OCUM-2M LN, with a high rate of lymph node metastasis. An in vivo lymph node-metastatic model with this cell line should be useful for analysing the mechanism and therapeutic approach of lymph node metastasis.