We have previously shown that mAb Ly-5 which on B cells recognizes a 220,000-Da (B220) molecule, inhibits LPS-induced IgG responses without affecting IgM or proliferative responses, whereas mAb Lyb-2 which modulates B cell activation processes induced by B cell stimulatory factor-1 (BSF-1) or IL-4, has no effect on LPS-induced B cell responses. In this report we further examined the cellular mechanisms of Ly-5 antibody action and the effect of Lyb-2 antibody in IgG responses induced by LPS and BSF-1. The results presented demonstrated that the inhibitory effect of Ly-5 antibody seems to be restricted to the IgG class and is observed in all IgG subclasses induced by LPS. Limiting dilution analysis showed that the Ly-5 antibody reduces primarily the precursor frequency of IgG-secreting cells and that the effect on the clone size is partial. Lyb-2 antibody, on the other hand, greatly inhibited IgG1 induction initiated by LPS and BSF-1 by the action on processes triggered by BSF-1, although it could not reverse the reduced IgG2b or IgG3 responses. Limiting dilution analysis revealed that Lyb-2 antibody reduces the precursor frequency but not the clone size of BSF-1-induced IgG1-producing cells, supporting our previous proposition that Lyb-2 plays a critical role in the B cell differentiation mediated by BSF-1. Taken together, these results indicate that both Ly-5 and Lyb-2 are important molecules in IgG subclass regulation, each acting on a distinct activation step.