Since CCR6 is a receptor for the chemokine CCL20, which is produced in tissues such as intestine and colon, it is thought that T cells expressing CCR6 are involved in mucosal immunity. The expression and function of CCR6 on human CD8+ T cells have not well been analyzed, although it is known that this receptor is expressed on a subset of human CD8+ T cells. We here characterize human CCR6+ CD8+ T cells. Multi-color flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that CCR6+ cells are predominantly found among CD8+ T cells having the memory phenotype. The expression of CCR6 is positively and negatively correlated with that of CCR5 and CCR7, respectively. CCR6+ CD8+ T cells express granzyme A and a low level of perforin but not granzyme B. In addition, a major population among these cells has the ability to produce IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha but not IL-2. These results indicate that CCR6+ CD8+ T cells have characteristics of early effector memory cells rather than effector or central memory cells. A chemotaxis assay revealed that CCR6+ CD8+ T cells have the ability to migrate in response to CCL20, suggesting that these T cells migrate to tissues such as colon and are involved in mucosal immunity.