This study documents the influence of leukotriene (LT) B4 on human B lymphocyte responses. Incubation of freshly isolated B lymphocytes with LTB4, but not LTC4, induced a slight but significant, time- and dose-dependent increase in the surface expression of Fc epsilon RII/CD23 and class II MHC Ag and in the release of soluble CD23. These changes were maximal at 10 nM LTB4 after an incubation period of 48 h. When B lymphocytes were preactivated in vitro with Staphylococcus aureus Cowan strain I (SAC), neither LTB4 nor LTC4 was able to promote proliferation and/or IgG and IgM secretion. In contrast, when resting B lymphocytes were stimulated with a suboptimal concentration (3 U/ml) of IL-4, LTB4, but not LTC4, potentiated both the Fc epsilon RII/CD23 and the class II MHC antigen expression, and the release of soluble CD23 in a dose-dependent manner, without affecting the kinetics of these responses. Furthermore, LTB4, but not LTC4, amplified both the proliferative response and the IgG and IgM secretion induced by addition of a suboptimal dose of IL-4 (3 U/ml) to SAC-preactivated B lymphocytes. Again, LTB4 did not modify the kinetics of the proliferative response promoted by IL-4. Although LTB4 potentiated IL-4-induced IgG and IgM secretion from SAC-activated B lymphocytes, no production of IgE was observed. These data indicate that LTB4 could play a regulatory role in the modulation of IL-4-induced signaling in human B lymphocytes.