Costimulatory cross-talk can occur at multiple cellular levels to potentiate expansion and polarization of Th responses. Although OX40L ligand (OX40L) is thought to play a key role in Th2 development, the critical cellular source of this molecule has yet to be identified. In this study, we demonstrate that OX40L expression by the initiating dendritic cell (DC) is a fundamental requirement for optimal induction of primary and memory Th2 responses in vivo. Analysis of the kinetics of the residual Th2 response primed by OX40L-deficient DC suggested a failure to stimulate appropriate expansion and/or survival of T cells, rather than an inability to polarize per se. The dependence upon OX40L was predominantly due to the provision of signaling through OX40 rather than retrograde signaling to the DC. Mechanistically, impaired Th2 priming in the absence of OX40L was not due to exaggerated regulation because there was no evidence of increased expansion or function of regulatory cell populations, suppression through IL-10 production, or hyporesponsiveness to secondary challenge. These data define a critical role for DC-derived OX40L in the induction and development of Th2 responses in vivo.