Dendritic cells (DCs) developmentally regulate antigen uptake by controlling their endocytic capacity. Immature DCs actively internalize antigen. However, mature DCs are poorly endocytic, functioning instead to present antigens to T cells. We have found that endocytic downregulation reflects a decrease in endocytic activity controlled by Rho family GTPases, especially Cdc42. Blocking Cdc42 function by Toxin B treatment or injection of dominant-negative inhibitors of Cdc42 abrogates endocytosis in immature DCs. In mature DCs, injection of constitutively active Cdc42 or microbial delivery of a Cdc42 nucleotide exchange factor reactivates endocytosis. DCs regulate endogenous levels of Cdc42-GTP with activated Cdc42 detectable only in immature cells. We conclude that DCs developmentally regulate endocytosis at least in part by controlling levels of activated Cdc42.