T cells stimulate B cells to divide and differentiate by providing activating signals in the form of inducible membrane-bound molecules and secreted cytokines. Provision of these signals in vitro reproduces many of the consequences of T-B collaboration in the absence of any form of Ag stimulation. Although clearly not obligatory, Ag signals appear to play an important regulatory role in numerous aspects of the B cell response. To examine directly the effect of an Ag signal, naive B cells were stimulated in the presence of rCD40 ligand, with or without IL-4 in the presence or absence of different anti-Ig mAbs. Anti-Ig mAbs exerted variable effects on the B cell division rate, from enhancement to no effect to inhibition. In contrast, all anti-Ig mAbs tested inhibited division-linked isotype switching to IgG1 and IgE. Thus, B cell Ag receptor ligands could modify the rates of B cell expansion and class switching independently. The ability of anti-Ig reagents to modify class switching suggests the B cell Ag receptor may play an important role in the selection of Ig isotypes during T cell-dependent humoral immune responses to Ags of different physical structure.