This review focuses on the use of immunglobulin (Ig) variable region genes by B cells from patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) and the biologic insights that this provides. Comparison of the Ig repertoire from the blood and parotid gland of pSS patients with that of normal donors suggests that there are typical disturbances of B cell homeostasis with depletion of memory B cells from the peripheral blood and accumulation/retention of these antigen-experienced B cells in the inflamed tissue. Although there are clonally expanded B cells in the parotid gland, generalized abnormalities in the B cell repertoire are also found in pSS patients. The vast majority of the current data indicate that there is no major molecular abnormality in generating the IgV chain repertoire in patients with pSS. In contrast, disordered selection leads to considerable differences in the V(L) gene usage and V(H) CDR3 length of the B cell Ig repertoire in pSS patients. The nature of the influences that lead to disordered selection in pSS remains to be determined, but should provide important clues to the etiology of this autoimmune inflammatory disorder.