The biological activities of PGE(2) are mediated through EP receptors (EP(1)-EP(4)), plasma membrane G protein-coupled receptors that differ in ligand binding and signal-transduction pathways. We investigated gastrointestinal EP(2) receptor expression in adult mice before and after radiation injury and evaluated intestinal stem cell survival and crypt epithelial apoptosis after radiation injury in EP(2) null mice. EP(2) was expressed throughout the gut. Intestinal EP(2) mRNA increased fivefold after gamma-irradiation. Crypt survival was diminished in EP(2)-/- mice (4.06 crypts/cross section) compared with wild-type littermates (8.15 crypts/cross section). Radiation-induced apoptosis was significantly increased in EP(2)-/- mice compared with wild-type littermates. Apoptosis was 1.6-fold higher in EP(2) (-/-) mice (5.9 apoptotic cells/crypt) than in wild-type mice (3.5 apoptotic cells/crypt). The EP(2) receptor is expressed in mouse gastrointestinal epithelial cells and is upregulated following radiation injury. The effects of PGE(2) on both crypt epithelial apoptosis and intestinal crypt stem cell survival are mediated through the EP(2) receptor.