Evidence is presented that the in vivo differentiation of B cells expressing X-linked immunodeficiency (xid) is controlled by mature T cells. Normal (C57BL/6 X CBA/J)F1 mice were thymectomized (ATx), heavily irradiated, and reconstituted with CBA/N (xid) or CBA/Ca (nondefective) marrow. In contrast to sham-operated mice, ATx recipients of xid marrow showed an almost total absence of Ig+ B cells in lymph nodes (LN) and thoracic duct lymph at 2 mo post-reconstitution ; B cells were markedly reduced in the spleen in some mice but only moderately in others. Addition of mature T cells soon after marrow reconstitution substantially abrogated the B cell depletion. In control experiments with nondefective B cells, the number of B cells developing in ATx irradiated recipients of normal (xid-) marrow cells was not detectably lower than in sham-operated recipients. These data imply that a subset of T-dependent B cells is either missing in normal mice or present in only very small numbers.

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