CD40 is an important costimulatory molecule for B cells as well as dendritic cells, monocytes, and other APCs. The ligand for CD40, CD154, is expressed on activated T cells, NK cells, mast cells, basophils, and even activated B cells. Although both CD40-/- and CD154-/- mice have impaired ability to isotype switch, form germinal centers, make memory B cells, and produce Ab, it is not entirely clear whether these defects are intrinsic to B cells, to other APCs, or to T cells. Using bone marrow chimeric mice, we investigated whether CD40 or CD154 must be expressed on B cells for optimal B cell responses in vivo. We demonstrate that CD40 expression on B cells is required for the generation of germinal centers, isotype switching, and sustained Ab production, even when other APCs express CD40. In contrast, the expression of CD154 on B cells is not required for the generation of germinal centers, isotype switching, or sustained Ab production. In fact, B cell responses are completely normal when CD154 expression is limited exclusively to Ag-specific T cells. These results suggest that the interaction of CD154 expressed by activated CD4 T cells with CD40 expressed by B cells is the primary pathway necessary to achieve B cell activation and differentiation and that CD154 expression on B cells does not noticeably facilitate B cell activation and differentiation.