Objective To determine whether functional suppression of the catalytic domain of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) can suppress the hyperreactive germinal center (GC) responses in BXD2 mice. Methods We generated transgenic BXD2 mice expressing a dominant-negative (DN) form of Aicda at the somatic hypermutation site (BXD2-Aicda-DN-transgenic mice). Real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the expression of Aicda and DNA damage/repair genes. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure serum levels of autoantibodies and immune complexes (ICs). Development of GCs and antibody-containing ICs as well as numbers of proliferative and apoptotic cells were determined using flow cytometry and/or immunohistochemical analyses. Development of arthritis and kidney disease was evaluated histologically in 6-8-month-old mice. Results Suppression of the somatic hypermutation function of AID resulted in a significant decrease in autoantibody production without affecting the expression of DNA damage-related genes in GC B cells of BXD2-Aicda-DN-transgenic mice. There was decreased proliferation, increased apoptosis, increased expression of caspase 9 messenger RNA in GC B cells, and lower numbers of GCs in the spleens of BXD2-Aicda-DN-transgenic mice. Decreased GC response was associated with lower levels of IgG-containing ICs. Anti-IgM- and anti-CD40 plus anti-Ig-induced B cell proliferative responses were decreased in BXD2-Aicda-DN-transgenic mice. Conclusion Inhibition of the AID somatic hypermutation function in BXD2 mice suppressed development of spontaneous GCs, generation of autoantibody-producing B cells, and autoimmunity in BXD2 mice. Suppression of AID catalytic function to limit selection-based survival of GC B cells could become a novel therapy for the treatment of autoimmune disease. Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Rheumatology.