The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in T-B cell signalling between B cells from normal and immunodeficient mice. B cell blasts from normal and immunodeficient mice expressed comparable levels of membrane-associated IL-1. B cells from normal, but not immunodeficient mice, prefixed with glutaraldehyde and cultured with thymocytes or a T cell line BK33, induce in T cells production of a factor which causes release of IL-1 by macrophages. This factor, preincubated with B cells from immunodeficient mice significantly enhances their APC function. Furthermore, this cytokine induces expression of Lyb-5 alloantigen on B cells from immunodeficient mice. This effect could be blocked by neutralizing antibodies to IL-6 but not to IL-2, IL-4 or GM-CSF. We conclude that immature B cells from immunodeficient (CBA/N x BALB/c)F1 mice are unable to stimulate interacting T cells to produce IL-6 and therefore are inefficient antigen presenting cells.