TNF is a pleiotropic cytokine that activates both anti- and proapoptotic signaling pathways, with cell fate determined by the balance between these two pathways. Activation of ErbB family members, including EGF receptor (EGFR/ErbB1), promotes cell survival and regulates several signals that overlap with those stimulated by TNF. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of TNF on EGFR and ErbB2 activation and intestinal epithelial cell survival. Mice, young adult mouse colon epithelial cells, and EGFR knockout mouse colon epithelial cells were treated with TNF. Activation of EGFR, ErbB2, Akt, Src, and apoptosis were determined in vivo and in vitro. TNF stimulated EGFR phosphorylation in young adult mouse colon epithelial cells, and loss of EGFR expression or inhibition of kinase activity increased TNF-induced apoptosis, which was prevented in WT but not by kinase-inactive EGFR expression. Similarly, TNF injection stimulated apoptosis in EGFR-kinase-defective mice (EGFR(wa2)) compared with WT mice. TNF also activated ErbB2, and loss of ErbB2 expression increased TNF-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, Src-kinase activity and the expression of both EGFR and ErbB2 were required for TNF-induced cell survival. Akt was shown to be a downstream target of TNF-activated EGFR and ErbB2. These findings demonstrate that EGFR and ErbB2 are critical mediators of TNF-regulated antiapoptotic signals in intestinal epithelial cells. Given evidence for TNF signaling in the development of colitis-associated carcinoma, this observation has significant implications for understanding the role of EGFR in maintaining intestinal epithelial cell homeostasis during cytokine-mediated inflammatory responses.