While it is generally accepted that B lymphocytes can present antigen and activate CD4 T cells, priming of CD8 T cells by B lymphocytes remains controversial. Recently, we showed that mice injected with genetically programmed B lymphocytes generate antigen specific CD4 and CD8 T cell responses in vivo that could also be induced in mice lacking functional dendritic cells. To gain further insights into the requirements for T cell priming by antigen-presenting B lymphocytes, in vitro experiments were performed using ovalbumin (OVA) and OVA-specific TCR-transgenic CD4 and CD8 T cells. We found that while B lymphocytes can directly prime CD4 T cells, the activation of CD8 T cells requires T cell help. Transfer experiments show that help can either be contact dependent or be mediated by soluble factors in the supernatants of activated OVA-specific CD4 T cells. Furthermore, the effect of activated CD4 T cells can be replaced by soluble recombinant IL-4. Collectively, the data show the existence of different requirements for priming of CD4 and CD8 T cells and point to the previously unappreciated fact that the induction of CD8 T cell responses by B lymphocytes requires T cell help.