We show here that C1q suppresses IL-12p40 production in LPS-stimulated murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDC). Serum IL-12p40 concentration of C1q-deficient mice was higher than that of wild-type mice after intraperitoneal LPS-injection. Because neither globular head of C1q (gC1q) nor collagen-like region of C1q (cC1q) failed to suppress LPS-induced IL-12p40 production, both gC1q and cC1q, and/or some specialized conformation of native C1q may be required for the inhibition. While C1q did not affect mRNA expression of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), MD-2, and myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), BMDC treated with C1q showed the reduced activity of NF-kappaB and the delayed phosphorylation of p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinase, and extracellular signal-regulated kinase after LPS-stimulation. CpG oligodeoxynucleotide-induced IL-12p40 and TNF-alpha production, another MyD88-dependent TLR-mediated signal, was also suppressed by C1q treatment. Therefore, C1q is likely to suppress MyD88-dependent pathway in TLR-mediated signals. In contrast, C1q failed to suppress colony formation of B cells responding to LPS or LPS-induced CD40 and CD86 expression on BMDC in MyD88-deficient mice, indicating that inhibitory effects of C1q on MyD88-independent pathways may be limited. Taken together, C1q may regulate innate and adaptive immune systems via modification of signals mediated by interactions between invading pathogens and TLR.