Dendritic cells (DC) regulate NK cell functions, but the signals required for the DC-mediated NK cell activation, i.e., DC-activated NK cell (DAK) activity, remain poorly understood. Upon acute inflammation mimicked by LPS or TNF-α, DC undergo a maturation process allowing T and NK cell activation in vitro. Chronic inflammation is controlled in part by Th2 cytokines. In this study, we show that IL-4 selectively confers to DC NK but not T cell stimulatory capacity. IL-4 is mandatory for mouse bone marrow-derived DC grown in GM-CSF (DCGM/IL-4) to promote NK cell activation in the draining lymph nodes. IL-4-mediated DAK activity depends on the KARAP/DAP12-triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cell 2 signaling pathway because: 1) gene targeting of the adaptor molecule KARAP/DAP12, a transmembrane polypeptide with an intracytoplasmic immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif, suppresses the DCGM/IL-4 capacity to activate NK cells, and 2) IL-4-mediated DAK activity is significantly blocked by soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cell 2 Fc molecules. These data outline a novel role for Th2 cytokines in the regulation of innate immune responses through triggering receptors expressed on myeloid cells.