The impact of BCR:CD21 co-engagement on B cell expression of molecules critical for T cell activation was investigated with receptor-specific mAbs conjugated to high MW dextran as stimulatory ligands. In the absence of IL-4, BCR:CD21 co-ligation augmented BCR-triggered CD86 only under conditions of very low BCR ligand dose or affinity, and CD80 was minimally induced by BCR and/or CD21 crosslinking. In the presence of IL-4, BCR:CD21 co-ligation augmented CD86 and CD80 expression under conditions of greater BCR engagement. However, with very high level BCR engagement, no bonus effect of BCR:CD21 crosslinking was observed. Co-ligation-promoted CD86 and CD80 expression was associated with heightened B cell activation of resting allogeneic T cells. The data suggest that co-clustering of BCR and the CD21/CD19 co-stimulatory complex following B cell engagement with C3d-bound microbial or self-antigens will enhance B cell recruitment of T cell help only when IL-4 is present and/or BCR engagement is very limiting.