So far some nuclear receptors for bile acids have been identified. However, no cell surface receptor for bile acids has yet been reported. We found that a novel G protein-coupled receptor, TGR5, is responsive to bile acids as a cell-surface receptor. Bile acids specifically induced receptor internalization, the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase mitogen-activated protein kinase, the increase of guanosine 5'-O-3-thio-triphosphate binding in membrane fractions, and intracellular cAMP production in Chinese hamster ovary cells expressing TGR5. Our quantitative analyses for TGR5 mRNA showed that it was abundantly expressed in monocytes/macrophages in human and rabbit. Treatment with bile acids was found to suppress the functions of rabbit alveolar macrophages including phagocytosis and lipopolysaccharide-stimulated cytokine productions. We prepared a monocytic cell line expressing TGR5 by transfecting a TGR5 cDNA into THP-1 cells that did not express TGR5 originally. Treatment with bile acids suppressed the cytokine productions in the THP-1 cells expressing TGR5, whereas it did not influence those in the original THP-1 cells, suggesting that TGR5 is implicated in the suppression of macrophage functions by bile acids.