Marginal zone (MZ) and B1 B lymphocytes participate jointly in the early immune response against T-independent (TI) particulate antigens. Here we show that blood-derived neutrophil granulocytes and CD11clo immature dendritic cells (DC) are the primary cells that efficiently capture and transport particulate bacteria to the spleen. In a systemic infection, CD11clo DC, but not neutrophils, provide critical survival signals, which can be inhibited by TACI-Fc, to antigen-specific MZ B cells and promote their differentiation into IgM-secreting plasmablasts. In a local TI response, peritoneal cavity macrophages provide similar support to B1 B-derived Ag-specific blasts. In the absence of soluble TACI ligands, Ag-activated MZ- and B1-derived blasts lack survival signals and undergo apoptosis, resulting in severely impaired antibody responses.