C3H/HeJ mice are genetically defective in their responsiveness to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Their B cells also have a characteristically low cloning efficiency in semisolid agar cultures, where LPS does not seem to be required. Adherent macrophages facilitate clonal proliferation in such cultures via diffusible substances. C3H/HeJ macrophages functioned poorly in this respect, and addition of normal C3HeB/FeJ macrophages to cultures of C3H/HeJ B cells did not lead to normal colony numbers. Although immune interferon can stimulate normal resident peritoneal macrophages to function well in semisolid agar cultures, it did not improve the cloning efficiency of C3H/HeJ cells. Similarly, addition of indomethacin or interleukin 1 to the cultures did not reveal that abnormally elevated production of prostaglandins or a deficiency in interleukin 1 are responsible for poor C3H/HeJ colony formation. These results indicate that C3H/HeJ mice have defects intrinsic to both B cells and macrophages that are not overcome by interferon. Purified B cells from these mice cloned poorly and did not respond to stimulation in liquid cultures with anti-mu-coated beads plus factors. There was a tendency for the poor cloning of C3H/HeJ B cells to improve with age.