Skin homing T cells carry memory for cutaneous Ags and play an important sentinel and effector role in host defense against pathogens that enter via the skin. CCR10 is a chemokine receptor that is preferentially expressed among blood leukocytes by a subset of memory CD4 and CD8 T cells that coexpress the skin-homing receptor cutaneous lymphocyte Ag (CLA), but not the gut-homing receptor alpha(4)beta(7). Homing and chemokine receptor coexpression studies detailed in this study suggest that the CLA(+)/CCR10(+) memory CD4 T cell population contains members that have access to both secondary lymphoid organ and skin compartments; and therefore, can act as both "central" and "effector" memory T cells. Consistent with this effector phenotype, CLA(+)/CCR10(+) memory CD4 T cells from normal donors secrete TNF and IFN-gamma but minimal IL-4 and IL-10 following in vitro stimulation. Interactions of CCR10 and its skin-associated ligand CC ligand 27 may play an important role in facilitating memory T cell entry into cutaneous sites during times of inflammation.