Many of the biological functions attributed to cell surface proteoglycans are dependent on the interaction with extracellular mediators through their heparan sulphate (HS) moieties and the participation of their core proteins in signaling events. A class of recently identified inflammatory mediators is secreted cyclophilins, which are mostly known as cyclosporin A-binding proteins. We previously demonstrated that cyclophilin B (CyPB) triggers chemotaxis and integrin-mediated adhesion of T lymphocytes mainly of the CD4(+)/CD45RO(+) phenotype. These activities are related to interactions with two types of binding sites, CD147 and cell surface HS. Here, we demonstrate that CyPB-mediated adhesion of CD4(+)/CD45RO(+) T cells is related to p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation by a mechanism involving CD147 and HS proteoglycans (HSPG). Although HSPG core proteins are represented by syndecan-1, -2, -4, CD44v3 and betaglycan in CD4(+)/CD45RO(+) T cells, we found that only syndecan-1 is physically associated with CD147. The intensity of the heterocomplex increased in response to CyPB, suggesting a transient enhancement and/or stabilization in the association of CD147 to syndecan-1. Pretreatment with anti-syndecan-1 antibodies or knockdown of syndecan-1 expression by RNA interference dramatically reduced CyPB-induced p44/p42 MAPK activation and consequent migration and adhesion, supporting the model in which syndecan-1 serves as a binding subunit to form the fully active receptor of CyPB. Altogether, our findings provide a novel example of a soluble mediator in which a member of the syndecan family plays a critical role in efficient interaction with signaling receptors and initiation of cellular responses.