B cell-deficient mice are susceptible to infection by Pneumocystis carinii f. sp. muris (PC). To determine whether this sasceptibility is due to a requirement for B cells to prime T cells, we compared CD4 T cell responses to PC in bone marrow chimeric mice that express MHC class II (MHCII) on all APCs (wild-type (WT) chimeras) and in bone marrow chimeric mice that express MHCII on all APCs except B cells (MHCII-/- chimeras). Although PC was rapidly cleared by WT chimeric mice, PC levels remained high in chimeric mice that lacked MHCII on B cells. In addition, although T cells were primed in the draining lymph nodes of MHCII-/- chimeric mice, the number of activated CD4 T cells infiltrating the lungs of these mice was reduced relative to the number in the lungs of WT chimeras. We also adoptively transferred purified CD4 T cells from the draining lymph nodes of PC-infected normal or B cell-deficient mice into SCID mice. Mice that received CD4 cells from normal mice were able to mount a response to infection in the lungs and clear PC. However, mice that received CD4 cells from B cell-deficient mice had a delayed T cell response in the lungs and failed to control the infection. These data indicate that B cells play a vital role in generation of CD4+ memory T cells in response to PC infection in the lungs. Copyright © 2006 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.