Junctional communication has long been suggested to play a role in coordinating the development of multicellular tissues. A better understanding of the patterns of communication between cells in such tissues is important for the identification of areas where this process may have a role. We have investigated the patterns of communication in cultures of human epidermal keratinocytes by iontophoretic injection of Lucifer Yellow CH, using involucrin expression as a marker of cells undergoing terminal differentiation. Cells that lack involucrin (i.e., the basal, proliferating cells) transfer dye preferentially to other involucrin-negative cells, whereas involucrin-positive cells either are not coupled or transfer dye with similar frequency to involucrin-positive and involucrin-negative neighbors. This decrease in communication associated with terminal differentiation was observed in both the presence and the absence of assembled desmosomes. Our observations lead us to speculate that loss of junctional communication may influence the commitment of basal keratinocytes to terminal differentiation.