Cumberbatch M, Dearman RJ, Griffiths CEM, Kimber I. Epidermal Langerhans cell migration and sensitisation to chemical allergens. APMIS 2003;111:797–804. Epidermal Langerhans cells (LC) form part of the wider family of dendritic cells (DC; professional antigen-processing and antigen-presenting cells). LC are considered to serve in the skin as sentinels of the adaptive immune system, surveying the local environment and transporting foreign antigen for presentation to responsive T lymphocytes in regional lymph nodes. As such, LC play pivotal roles in the initiation of cutaneous immune responses, including immune responses to chemical allergens encountered at skin surfaces. Here we explore two aspects of LC function in the context of sensitisation to chemical allergens. The first is consideration of the cytokine and chemokine signals that regulate and counter-regulate the mobilisation and migration of LC from the epidermis to skin-draining lymph nodes following topical sensitisation. The second is examination of the ways in which LC may influence the polarity of induced T lymphocytes, and thereby the quality of immune responses.