We investigated in vitro the properties of soluble factors produced by Toxoplasma gondii on the recruitment, maturation and migration of human dendritic cells (DC) derived from CD34+ progenitor cells. We used soluble factors including excreted secreted antigens (ESA) produced under various conditions by the virulent type I RH strain (ESA-RH) and the less virulent PRU type II strain (ESA-PRU). Soluble factors of both T. gondii strains appeared to possess a chemokine-like activity that attracted immature DC. This recruitment activity required the presence of functional CCR5 molecules on the cell membrane. Incubation of DC for 24 h with ESA triggered the migration of a large percentage of these cells towards the chemokine MIP-3beta; ESA-PRU was more efficient than ESA-RH. ESA produced in absence of exogenous protein and crude extract did not induce DC migration but retained recruitment activity. These data indicate that recruitment activity and migration-inducing activity are not governed by the same factors. Moreover, incubation of DC for 48 h with ESA did not modify the expression of costimulation or maturation markers (CD83, CD40, CD80, CD86 or HLA-DR), but induced a decrease in CCR6 expression associated with an increased expression of CCR7. Taken together, these results suggest that T. gondii controls recruitment and migration of immature DC by different soluble factors and may induce a dysfunction in the host-specific immune response.