The Src family kinase Lyn plays both stimulatory and inhibitory roles in hemopoietic cells. In this report we provide evidence that Lyn is involved in dendritic cell (DC) generation and maturation. Loss of Lyn promoted DC expansion in vitro from bone marrow precursors due to enhanced generation and accelerated differentiation of Lyn-deficient DC progenitors. Differentiated Lyn-deficient DCs also had a higher survival rate. Similarly, the CD11c-positive cell number was increased in aged Lyn-deficient mice in vivo. In contrast to their enhanced generation, lyn-/- DCs failed to mature appropriately in response to innate stimuli, resulting in DCs with lower levels of MHC class II and costimulatory molecules. In addition, IL-12 production and Ag-specific T cell activation were reduced in lyn-/- DCs after maturation, resulting in impaired Th1 responses. This is the first study to characterize Lyn-deficient DCs. Our results suggest that Lyn kinase plays uniquely negative and positive regulatory roles in DC generation and maturation, respectively.