We previously showed that immunization with a combination of TLR and CD40 agonists (combined TLR/CD40 agonist immunization) resulted in an expansion of Ag-specific CD8 T cells exponentially greater than the expansion observed to immunization with either agonist alone. We now show that the mechanism behind this expansion of T cells is the regulated expression of CD70 on dendritic cells. In contrast to previous results in vitro, the expression of CD70 on dendritic cells in vivo requires combined TLR/CD40 stimulation and is not significantly induced by stimulation of either pathway alone. Moreover, the exponential expansion of CD8(+) T cells following combined TLR/CD40 agonist immunization is CD70 dependent. Thus, the transition from innate stimuli (TLRs) to adaptive immunity is controlled by the regulated expression of CD70.