Lipoxins are eicosanoid mediators that show potent inhibitory effects on the acute inflammatory process. We show here that the induction of lipoxin A(4) (LXA(4)) accompanied the in vivo suppression of interleukin 12 (IL-12) responsiveness of murine splenic dendritic cells (DCs) after microbial stimulation with an extract of Toxoplasma gondii. This paralysis of DC function could not be triggered in mice that were deficient in a key lipoxygenase involved in LXA(4) biosynthesis. In addition, DCs pre-treated with LXA(4) became refractory to microbial stimulation for IL-12 production in vitro and mice injected with a stable LXA(4) analog showed reduced splenic DC mobilization and IL-12 responses in vivo. Together, these findings indicate that the induction of lipoxins in response to microbial stimulation can provide a potent mechanism for regulating DC function during the innate response to pathogens.