We studied expression of the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) pathway in normal human skin. In situ hybridization revealed a 5-LO mRNA-containing epidermal cell (EC) population that was predominantly located in the midportion of the spinous layer, in outer hair root sheaths, and in the epithelial compartment of sebaceous glands. Examination of skin specimens by immunohistochemistry and of primary ECs by flow cytometry mapped the 5-LO protein exclusively to Langerhans cells (LCs). The LC 5-LO protein was largely found in the nuclear matrix, in nuclear envelopes, and perinuclear regions as indicated by in situ confocal laser scan microscopy. Reverse transcription-PCR and immunoblot analyses of purified primary EC populations further indicated that LCs are major 5-LO expressing cells. Enriched primary LCs were also found to contain 5-LO activating protein (FLAP), leukotriene (LT) C4 synthase, and LTA4 hydrolase. By contrast, 5-LO, FLAP, and LTC4 synthase were undetectable or largely reduced, but LTA4 hydrolase transcripts and protein were identified in ECs depleted of LCs. These data show that naive LCs are major, and possibly the sole, 5-LO pathway expressing cells in the normal human epidermis.