The proper function of immune surveillance requires well-coordinated mechanisms in order to guide the patrolling immune cells through peripheral tissues and into secondary lymphoid organs. Analyzing gene-targeted mice, we identified the chemokine receptor CCR7 as an important organizer of the primary immune response. CCR7-deficient mice show severely delayed kinetics regarding the antibody response and lack contact sensitivity and delayed type hypersensitivity reactions. Due to the impaired migration of lymphocytes, these animals reveal profound morphological alterations in all secondary lymphoid organs. Upon activation, mature skin dendritic cells fail to migrate into the draining lymph nodes. Thus, in order to bring together lymphocytes and dendritic cells to form the characteristic microarchitecture of secondary lymphoid organs, CCR7 is required to rapidly initiate an adoptive immune response.