Although bone marrow is known as a primary lymphoid organ, its potential to serve as a secondary immune organ has hardly been explored. Here we demonstrate that naive, antigen-specific T cells home to bone marrow, where they can be primed. Antigen presentation to T cells in bone marrow is mediated via resident CD11c+ dendritic cells. They are highly efficient in taking up exogenous blood-borne antigen and processing it via major histocompatibility complex class I and class II pathways. T-cell activation correlates with dendritic cell-T cell clustering in bone marrow stroma. Primary CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses generated in bone marrow occur in the absence of secondary lymphoid organs. The responses are not tolerogenic and result in generation of cytotoxic T cells, protective anti-tumor immunity and immunological memory. These findings highlight the uniqueness of bone marrow as an organ important for hemato- and lymphopoiesis and for systemic T cell-mediated immunity.