Peptide acquisition by MHC class II molecules is catalyzed by HLA-DM (DM). In B cells, HLA-DO (DO) inhibits or modifies the peptide exchange activity of DM. We show here that DO protein levels are modulated during B cell differentiation. Remarkably, germinal center (GC) B cells, which have low levels of DO relative to naive and memory B cells, are shown to have enhanced antigen presentation capabilities. DM protein levels also were somewhat reduced in GC B cells; however, the ratio of DM to DO in GC B cells was substantially increased, resulting in more free DM in GC B cells. We conclude that modulation of DM and DO in distinct stages of B cell differentiation represents a mechanism by which B cells regulate their capacity to function as antigen-presenting cells. Efficient antigen presentation in GC B cells would promote GC B cell-T cell interactions that are essential for B cells to survive positive selection in the GC.