Prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), a major COX metabolite, plays important roles in several facets of tumor biology. We characterized the contribution of the PGE(2) EP2 receptor to cancer-associated immune deficiency using EP2(-/-) mice. EP2(-/-) mice exhibited significantly attenuated tumor growth and longer survival times when challenged with MC26 or Lewis lung carcinoma cell lines as compared with their wild-type littermates. While no differences in T cell function were observed, PGE(2) suppressed differentiation of DCs from wild-type bone marrow progenitors, whereas EP2-null cells were refractory to this effect. Stimulation of cells in mixed lymphocyte reactions by wild-type DCs was suppressed by treatment with PGE(2), while EP2(-/-)-derived DCs were resistant to this effect. In vivo, DCs, CD4(+), and CD8(+) T cells were significantly more abundant in draining lymph nodes of tumor-bearing EP2(-/-) mice than in tumor-bearing wild-type mice, and a significant antitumor cytotoxic T lymphocyte response could be observed only in the EP2(-/-) animals. Our data demonstrate an important role for the EP2 receptor in PGE(2)-induced inhibition of DC differentiation and function and the diminished antitumor cellular immune responses in vivo.