To assess the importance of B cell control of T cell differentiation, we analyzed the course of the T helper type 1 (T(H)1)-driven disease experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice with an altered B cell compartment. We found that recovery was dependent on the presence of autoantigen-reactive B cells. B cells from recovered mice produced interleukin 10 (IL-10) in response to autoantigen. With a bone marrow chimeric system, we generated mice in which IL-10 deficiency was restricted to B cells but not T cells. In the absence of IL-10 production by B cells, the pro-inflammatory type 1 immune response persisted and mice did not recover. These data show that B cell-derived IL-10 plays a key role in controlling autoimmunity.