Interleukin-12 (IL-12) and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) drive T helper type 1 (T(H)1) differentiation, but the mechanisms underlying the regulation of the complicated gene networks involved in this differentiation are not fully understood. Here we show that the IFN-gamma-induced transcription factor IRF1 was essential in T(H)1 differentiation by acting on Il12rb1, the gene encoding the IL-12 receptor beta1 subunit (IL-12Rbeta1). IRF1 directly interacted with and activated the Il12rb1 promoter in CD4+ T cells. Notably, the IRF1-dependent induction of IL-12Rbeta1 was essential for IFN-gamma-IL-12 signaling but was dispensable for IL-23-IL-17 signaling. Because both IL-12 and IL-23 bind to and transmit signals through IL-12Rbeta1, our data suggest that distinct thresholds of IL-12Rbeta1 expression are required for T(H)1 versus T(H)-17 differentiation.