Résumé : BALB/c mice rendered tolerant to A/J alloantigens by neonatal injection of 10(8) (A/J X BALB/c)F1 spleen cells develop an autoimmune disease associated with a polyclonal activation of donor B cells. To study the mechanisms leading to donor B cell activation in tolerant mice, we prepared mixed lymphocyte cultures (MLC) between splenic T cells from neonatally injected mice and donor-type (A/J X BALB/c)F1 or third-party (C57BL/6 X BALB/c)F1 B cells. T cells from tolerized mice were unable to generate cytotoxic T lymphocytes, to proliferate or to secrete interleukin (IL)2 after stimulation with donor alloantigens in MLC. These T cell responses were present after MLC with third-party antigens, but were of lower intensity than those generated by control BALB/c T cells. In contrast, T cells from tolerized mice stimulated immunoglobulin production by donor-type (A/J X BALB/c)F1 B cells much more powerfully than T cells from control BALB/c mice. The stimulation of donor-type (A/J X BALB/c)F1 B cells was polyclonal, as attested by the levels of anti-hapten and anti-DNA antibodies in the MLC supernatants. IgM was the dominant isotype secreted in vitro, but IgG1 and IgG3 were also produced in significant amounts. Lysis experiments indicated that the T cells responsible for F1 B cell stimulation in MLC were CD4+ host T cells. These T helper cells were alloreactive since they did not stimulate syngeneic BALB/c B cells, and their effect on donor B cells was specifically blocked by anti-donor Ia monoclonal antibodies. Addition of anti-IL 4 monoclonal antibody to MLC between T cells from tolerant mice and (A/J X BALB/c)F1 B cells almost completely abolished the production of IgG1, but not that of IgM or IgG3. Taken together, these findings indicate that neonatal injection of alloantigens in BALB/c mice induces a state of dissociated tolerance, with unresponsiveness of anti-donor T cells secreting IL 2 on the one hand, and persistence of T cells responsible for B cell help and IL 4 secretion on the other hand.