Homeostatic control of T cells involves tight regulation of effector T cells to prevent excessive activation that can cause tissue damage and autoimmunity. Little is known, however, about whether antigen-presenting cells (APCs) are also involved in maintaining immune system homeostasis once effector T cells are stimulated. Here we found that immature APCs downregulated effector T cell function by a mechanism involving the C-type lectin MGL expressed by APCs. Glycosylation-dependent interactions of MGL with CD45 on effector T cells negatively regulated T cell receptor-mediated signaling and T cell-dependent cytokine responses, which in turn decreased T cell proliferation and increased T cell death. Thus, regulation of effector T cells by MGL expressed on APCs may provide a target for regulating chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.