Background: Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) comprise one of the BM stromal cells that are known to support hematopoiesis. It has also been suggested recently that MSC display immunosuppressive capacities through inhibiting the differentiation of monocyte-derived DC. DC travel to the lymph nodes (LN) to present Ag to T cells, and CCL21 is the chemokine that plays an important role in DC migration into the T-cell area of LN. We addressed the effect of MSC on this chemotactic activity of DC, one of the typical characteristics upon maturation. Methods: BM cells were isolated and then cultured for generation of myeloid DC in the presence of GM-CSF and/or lipopolysaccharide with or without MSC. MSC were identified by flow cytometry of the immunologic markers and by performing colony-forming unit fibroblast assay. Migration of DC was observed with a newly developed time-lapse video microscopic technique. Results: MSC co-culture inhibited the initial differentiation of DC, as well as their maturation. The matured DC actively migrated directionally in response to CCL21, a powerful DC-attracting chemokine, whereas the MSC co-cultured DC did not. Discussion: Collectively, the findings of these experiments raise the possibility that MSC suppress the migratory function of DC and so they may serve immunoregulatory activities through the modulation of the Ag-presenting function of DC.