"At the age of 30, I feel it is right for me to stand aside and let younger players come through, which allows me to concentrate on my club career.
"I regard it as an honour and a privilege to have represented my country at every level from under-15s upwards. I have always been very proud to play for England and wish them well in future tournaments."
Brown's decision brings to an end a 23-cap career which began when he was called up by then-England boss Kevin Keegan against Hungary in 1999.
Injury continually prevented him from showing his best form for his country, although he was part of the 2002 World Cup squad in Japan and South Korea, but did not actually play a game.
He started in Capello's first two games in charge against Switzerland and France, but injury took hold once more before the Italian guided England to this summer's finals in South Africa.
Capello was at Wembley on Sunday for the Community Shield game
More problems meant Brown did not figure in Capello's 30-man provisional squad or the final 23, the right-back role going to Glen Johnson, and Liverpool's Jamie Carragher controversially persuaded out of international retirement as back-up.
Coming on the same day Paul Robinson also opted to concentrate on his club career, Brown's decision leaves Capello in an embarrassing situation, with a clear lack of communication with his fringe players becoming increasingly evident.
The Italian is yet to decide whether to call up replacements for either man.
In a statement, the FA said: "Wes Brown has this evening announced his retirement from international football.
"He came to the England team hotel this evening to meet with and tell Fabio Capello in person."
Earlier on Sunday, Robinson, also 30, ended his international career, saying: "I don't see myself as a number three or four keeper and find that role very frustrating."
The former England number one, capped 41 times, was named in the squad for this week's friendly along with Birmingham City's Ben Foster and Joe Hart of Manchester City.
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