The purpose of this investigation was to study the formation and origin of basal lamina and anchoring fibrils in adult human skin. Epidermis and dermis were separated by "cold trypsinization." Viable epidermis and viable, inverted dermis were recombined and grafted to the chorioallantoic membrane of embryonated chicken eggs for varying periods up to 10 days. Basal lamina and anchoring fibrils were absent from the freshly trypsinized epidermis before grafting although hemidesmosomes and tonofilaments of the basal cells remained intact. Basal lamina and anchoring fibrils were absent from freshly cut, inverted surface of the dermis. Beginning 3 days after grafting, basal lamina was noted to form immediately subjacent to hemidesmosomes of epidermal basal cells at the epidermal-dermal interface. From the fifth to the seventh day after grafting, basal lamina became progressively more dense and extended to become continuous in many areas at the epidermal-dermal interface. Anchoring fibrils appeared first in grafts consisting of epidermis and viable dermis at five day cultivation and became progressively more numerous thereafter. In order to determine the epidermal versus dermal origin of basal lamina and anchoring fibrils, dermis was rendered nonviable by repeated freezing and thawing 10 times followed by recombination with viable epidermis. Formation of basal lamina occurred as readily in these recombinants of epidermis with freeze-thawed, nonviable dermis as with viable dermis, indicating that dermal viability was not essential for synthesis of basal lamina. This observation supports the concept of epidermal origin for basal lamina. Anchoring fibrils did not form in recombinants containing freeze-thawed dermis, indicating that dermal viability was required for anchoring fibrils formation. This observation supports the concept of dermal origin of anchoring fibrils.