T cell differentiation in the adult thymus depends on sequential interactions between lymphoid progenitors and stromal cells found in distinct regions of the cortex and medulla. Therefore, migration of T cell progenitors through distinct stromal environments seems to be a crucial process regulating differentiation and homeostasis inside the thymus. Here we show that CCR7-deficient mice are distinguished by a disturbed thymic architecture, impaired T cell development, and decreased numbers of the thymocytes. Analysis of developing double negative (CD4-CD8-) pool of wild-type thymus reveals that CCR7 expression is restricted to a CD25intCD44+ subpopulation. Correspondingly, CCR7 deficiency results in an accumulation of this population in mutant thymus. Furthermore, immunohistology shows that in CCR7-deficient mice CD25+CD44+ cells accumulate at the cortico-medullary junction, suggesting that CCR7 signaling regulates the migration of early progenitors toward the outer thymic cortex, thereby continuing differentiation. Results obtained from mixed bone marrow chimeras support this view, since the development of CCR7-deficient thymocytes is also disturbed in a morphologically intact thymus. Thus, our findings establish an essential role for CCR7 in intrathymic migration and proper T cell development.