Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)3 has been characterized as a negative feedback regulator in cytokine-mediated Janus kinase signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling. However, this study shows that T cells from transgenic mice expressing SOCS3 exhibit a significant reduction in interleukin (IL)-2 production induced by T cell receptor cross-linking when T cells are costimulated with CD28. Decreased protein expression in SOCS3+/− mice enhanced CD28-mediated IL-2 production, clearly indicating the correlation between expression level of SOCS3 and IL-2 production ability. The SOCS3 protein interacted with phosphorylated CD28 through its SH2 domain but not the kinase inhibitory region. In addition, a point mutation in the SOCS3 SH2 domain attenuated the inhibition of CD28 function in IL-2 promoter activation. Committed T helper (Th)2 cells exclusively expressed SOCS3 and production of Th2 cytokines, such as IL-4 and IL-5, was much less dependent on CD28 costimulation compared with interferon γ and IL-2 production in Th1 cells. Consistent with this notion, the expression level of SOCS3 in early T cell activation influenced the ability of IL-2 production induced by CD28 costimulation. Therefore, the SOCS3 may play an alternative role in prohibiting excessive progression of CD28-mediated IL-2 production.