Daphnoretin, an active constituent of Wikstroemia indica C.A. Meys, has been shown possessing anti-cancer activity. In this study, we examined the effect of daphnoretin on differentiation and maturation of human myeloid dendritic cells (DCs). After treatment with daphnoretin (0, 1.1, 3.3, 10 and 30 μM) to initiate monocytes, the recovery rate of DCs was reduced in a dose-dependent manner. The mature DCs differentiated in the presence of daphnoretin had fewer and shorter dendrites. Daphnoretin modulated DCs differentiation and maturation in terms of lower expression of CD1a, CD40, CD83, DC-SIGN, and HLA-DR. Daphnoretin inhibited the allostimulatory activity of DCs on proliferation of naive CD4+ CD45+ RA+ T cell. On the mitogen-activated protein kinase, daphnoretin down-regulated the lipopolysaccharide-augmented expression of phosphorylated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (pJNK), but not p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2). Activation of JNK by anisomycin reversed the effect of daphnoretin on daphnoretin-inhibited pJNK expression and dendrite formation of DCs. In disease model related to maturation of DCs, daphnoretin suppressed the acute rejection of skin allografts in mice. Our results suggest that daphnoretin modulated differentiation and maturation of DCs toward a state of atypical maturation with impaired allostimulatory function and this effect may go through down-regulation of phosphorylated JNK.