Activated neutrophil (PMN) adherence to vascular endothelium comprises a key step for both transendothelial migration and initiation of potentially deleterious release of PMN products. The biogenic amine, dopamine (DA), has been used for several decades in patients to maintain hemodynamic stability. The effect of dopamine on PMN transendothelial migration and adhesion receptor expression and on the endothelial molecules, E-selectin and ICAM-1, was evaluated. PMN were isolated from healthy controls, stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and treated with dopamine. CD 11b and CD 18 PMN adhesion receptor expression were assessed flow cytometrically. In a separate experiment, the chemoattractant peptide, IL-8, was placed in the lower chamber of transwells, and PMN migration was assessed. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were stimulated with LPS/TNF-alpha and incubated with dopamine. ICAM-1 and E-selectin endothelial molecule expression were assessed flow cytometrically. There was a significant increase in transendothelial migration in stimulated PMN compared with normal PMN (40 vs. 14%, P < 0.001). In addition, PMN CD11b/CD18 was significantly upregulated in stimulated PMN compared with normal PMN (252.4/352.4 vs. 76.7/139.4, P < 0.001) as were endothelial E-selectin/ICAM-1 expression compared with normal EC (8.1/9 vs. 3.9/3.8, P < 0.05). After treatment with dopamine, PMN transmigration was significantly decreased compared with stimulated PMN (8% vs. 40%, P < 0.001). Furthermore, dopamine also attenuated PMN CD11b/CD18 and the endothelial molecules E-selectin and ICAM-1 compared with stimulated PMN/EC that were not treated dopamine (174/240 vs. 252/352, P < 0.05 and 4/4.4 vs. 8.1/9, P < 0.05. respectively). The chemoattractant effect of IL-8 was also attenuated. These results identify for the first time that dopamine attenuates the initial interaction between PMN and the endothelium, and consequently, modulates PMN exudation. Thus, biogenic amines, including dopamine, may function as anti-inflammatory cytokines.