A toxic injury such as a decrease in the number of immature dendritic cells caused by a cytotoxic effect or a disturbance in their maturation process can be responsible for immunodepression. There is a need to improve in vitro assays on human dendritic cells used to detect and evaluate adverse effects of xenobiotics. Two aspects were explored in this work: cytotoxic effects of xenobiotics on immature dendritic cells, and the interference of xenobiotics with dendritic cell maturation. Dendritic cells of two different origins were tested. Dendritic cells obtained either from umbilical cord blood CD34+ cells or, for the first time, from umbilical cord blood monocytes. The cytotoxicity assay on immature dendritic cells has been improved. For the study of the potential adverse effects of xenobiotics on the maturation process of dendritic cells, several parameters were selected such as expression of markers (CD86, CD83, HLA-DR), secretion of interleukins 10 and 12, and proliferation of autologous lymphocytes. The relevance and the efficiency of the protocol applied were tested using two mycotoxins, T-2 toxin and deoxynivalence, DON, which are known to be immunosuppressive, and one phycotoxin, domoic acid, which is known not to have any immunotoxic effect. Assays using umbilical cord monocyte dendritic cell cultures with the protocol defined in this work, which involves a cytotoxicity study followed by evaluation of several markers of adverse effects on the dendritic cell maturation process, revealed their usefulness for investigating xenobiotic immunotoxicity toward immune primary reactions.