We report a case of a combined immunodeficiency (CID) in a child affected by trichothiodystrophy (TTD) characterized by an altered response to ultraviolet (UV) light due to a defect in the XPD gene. The XPD gene encodes a subunit of the transcription factor II H (TFIIH), a complex involved in nucleotide-excision repair (NER) and basal transcription. Our patient showed neurological and immune system abnormalities, including CD4 + lymphopenia never previously reported in TTD patients. In vitro immunological studies revealed a marked reduction in T-cell proliferation in response to mitogens and CD3 cross-linking which was partially recovered by the addition of anti-CD28 antibody or exogenous interleukin-2. The patient's T cells displayed alterations in T-cell receptor (TCR/CD3) proximal signalling characterized by marked reduction in Lck kinase activity coupled with a constitutive hyperactivation of Fyn kinase. Despite these alterations, normal levels of Lck and Fyn proteins were detected. The role of antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in the pathogenesis of the T-cell defect was investigated by analysing dendritic cells (DCs) generated from the patient's blood monocytes. In these cells, flow cytometry revealed significantly reduced expression of the CD86 co-stimulatory molecules and HLA glycoproteins. In addition, the patient's DCs showed a decreased ability to stimulate naive T lymphocytes. Overall, the results of our study suggest that a defective TFIIH complex might result in alterations in T cells and DC functions leading to a severe immunodeficiency.