It is thought that IgA B-cell differentiation is highly dependent on activated CD4+ T cells. In particular, cell-cell interactions in the Peyer's patches involving CD40 and/or CD80/CD86 have been implicated in germinal-center formation and IgA B-cell development. Also soluble factors, such as IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, and TGFβ may be critical for IgA B-cell differentiation in vivo. Here we report on some paradoxical findings with regard to IgA B-cell differentiation and specific mucosal immune responses that we have recently made using gene knockout mice. More specifically, we have investigated to what extent absence of CD4+ T cells, relevant cytokines, or T-cell-B-cell interactions would influence IgA B-cell differentiation in vivo. Using CD4– or IL- 4-gene knockout mice or mice made transgenic for CTLA4Ig, we found that, although specific responses were impaired, total IgA production and IgA B-cell differentiation appeared to proceed normally. However, a poor correlation was found between, on the one hand, GC formation and IgA differentiation and, on the other hand, the ability to respond to T-celldependent soluble protein antigens in these mice. Thus, despite the various deficiencies in CD4+ T-cell functions seemingly intact IgA B-cell development was observed.