Efficient clearance of apoptotic cells (AC) by professional phagocytes is crucial for tissue homeostasis and resolution of inflammation. Macrophages respond to AC with an increase in antiinflammatory cytokine production but a diminished release of proinflammatory mediators. Mechanisms to explain attenuated proinflammatory cytokine formation remain elusive. We provide evidence that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) coordinates antiinflammatory responses following its activation by AC. Exposing murine RAW264.7 macrophages to AC before LPS stimulation reduced NF-kappaB transactivation and lowered target gene expression of, that is, TNF-alpha and IL-6 compared with controls. In macrophages overexpressing a dominant negative mutant of PPARgamma, NF-kappaB transactivation in response to LPS was restored, while macrophages from myeloid lineage-specific conditional PPARgamma knockout mice proved that PPARgamma transmitted an antiinflammatory response, which was delivered by AC. Expressing a PPARgamma-Delta aa32-250 deletion mutant, we observed no inhibition of NF-kappaB. Analyzing the PPARgamma domain structures within aa 32-250, we anticipated PPARgamma sumoylation in mediating the antiinflammatory effect in response to AC. Interfering with sumoylation of PPARgamma by mutating the predicted sumoylation site (K77R), or knockdown of the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) E3 ligase PIAS1 (protein inhibitor of activated STAT1), eliminated the ability of AC to suppress NF-kappaB. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrated that AC prevented the LPS-induced removal of nuclear receptor corepressor (NCoR) from the kappaB site within the TNF-alpha promoter. We conclude that AC induce PPARgamma sumoylation to attenuate the removal of NCoR, thereby blocking transactivation of NF-kappaB. This contributes to an antiinflammatory phenotype shift in macrophages responding to AC by lowering proinflammatory cytokine production.