Proliferation in vitro of the in vivo passaged murine B cell tumor line BCL1 has been used as a standard assay for mouse interleukin-5 (IL-5) for a number of years. We demonstrate that this line will also respond to human IL-5. The response to murine IL-5 is abrogated by transforming growth factor-beta and to a lesser extent by interferon-gamma. This suggests a possible regulatory role for these lymphokines in the proliferation of B cells induced by IL-5. Other purified recombinant lymphokines were also tested for their ability to induce BCL1 proliferation. The lymphokines IL-1, IL-2, IL-3, and IL-6 had no effect on the growth of BCL1. In contrast, IL-4 and more surprisingly granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) also induced proliferation of this cell. These effects could be inhibited by specific antibodies directed against the respective lymphokines. These data suggest that GM-CSF, as well as IL-4 and IL-5, may be yet another regulator of neoplastic and possibly even normal B-cell growth and differentiation.