The dendritic cells in skin biopsies from 36 fetuses (from 16 weeks' gestational age on) and neonatal infants of different ages were investigated using a number of markers for various cells of the immune system and immunohistochemistry. Epidermal Langerhans' cells were found in all cases in a predominantly basal localization. The number of OKT6-positive Langerhans' cells and the development of their dendritic processes gradually increased with age. Dermal dendritic cells were present as well. Both HLA-DR-positive and Leu-10-positive dermal dendritic cells were found in the superficial and deep dermis, often in a perivascular distribution. The OKT6-positive dermal dendritic cells were few in number and occurred only in the upper dermis.