Bcl10 is an intracellular protein essential for nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation after lymphocyte antigen receptor stimulation. Using knockout mice, we show that absence of Bcl10 impeded conversion from transitional type 2 to mature follicular B cells and caused substantial decreases in marginal zone and B1 B cells. Bcl10-deficient B cells showed no excessive apoptosis. However, both Bcl10-deficient follicular and marginal zone B cells failed to proliferate normally, although Bcl10-deficient marginal zone B cells uniquely failed to activate NF-kappaB efficiently after stimulation with lipopolysaccharide. Bcl10-deficient marginal zone B cells did not capture antigens, and Bcl10-deficient (Bcl10-/-) mice failed to initiate humoral responses, leading to an inability to clear blood-borne bacteria. Thus, Bcl10 is essential for the development of all mature B cell subsets.