Comparative analyses of murine dendritic cells (DC) isolated from the skin and from the intestinal mucosa after exposure to cholera toxin and its non-toxic B subunit disclose striking differences regarding the migratory and functional behaviour of these cells. The nature of the epithelial microenvironment, especially locally produced cytokines and chemokines, appears to influence the functional ability of skin and mucosal DCs to convey immunogenic as opposed to tolerogenic signals and hence to regulate immune responsiveness at skin and at mucosal sites.