Lymphocytes are recruited from blood by high-endothelial venules (HEVs). We performed transcriptomic analyses and identified molecular signatures that distinguish HEVs from capillary endothelium and that define tissue-specific HEV specialization. Capillaries expressed gene programs for vascular development. HEV-expressed genes showed enrichment for genes encoding molecules involved in immunological defense and lymphocyte migration. We identify capillary and HEV markers and candidate mechanisms for regulated recruitment of lymphocytes, including a lymph node HEV-selective transmembrane mucin; transcriptional control of functionally specialized carbohydrate ligands for lymphocyte L-selectin; HEV expression of molecules for transendothelial migration; and metabolic programs for lipid mediators of lymphocyte motility and chemotaxis. We also elucidate a carbohydrate-recognition pathway that targets B cells to intestinal lymphoid tissues, defining CD22 as a lectin-homing receptor for mucosal HEVs.