The role of BAFF in B cell self tolerance was examined by tracking the fate of anti-HEL self-reactive B cells in BAFF transgenic mice using four different models of self-reactive B cell deletion. BAFF overexpression did not affect the development of self-reactive B cells normally deleted in the bone marrow or during the early stages of peripheral development. By contrast, self-reactive B cells normally deleted around the late T2 stage of peripheral development were rescued from deletion, matured, and colonized the splenic follicle. Furthermore, self-reactive B cells normally selectively deleted from the marginal zone repopulated this compartment when excess BAFF was present. Self-reactive B cells rescued by excess BAFF were not anergic. BAFF overexpression therefore rescued only self-reactive B cells normally deleted with relatively low stringency and facilitated their migration into otherwise forbidden microenvironments. This partial subversion of B cell self tolerance is likely to underlie the autoimmunity associated with BAFF overexpression.