The caspase 8 inhibitor c-FLIP(L) can act in vitro as a molecular switch between cell death and growth signals transmitted by the death receptor Fas (CD95). To elucidate its function in vivo, transgenic mice were generated that overexpress c-FLIP(L) in the T-cell compartment (c-FLIP(L) Tg mice). As anticipated, FasL-induced apoptosis was inhibited in T cells from the c-FLIP(L) Tg mice. In contrast, activation-induced cell death of T cells in c-FLIP(L) Tg mice was unaffected, suggesting that this deletion process can proceed in the absence of active caspase 8. Accordingly, c-FLIP(L) Tg mice differed from Fas-deficient mice by showing no accumulation of B220(+) CD4(-) CD8(-) T cells. However, stimulation of T lymphocytes with suboptimal doses of anti-CD3 or antigen revealed increased proliferative responses in T cells from c-FLIP(L) Tg mice. Thus, a major role of c-FLIP(L) in vivo is the modulation of T-cell proliferation by decreasing the T-cell receptor signaling threshold.