Autoantigens that contain DNA, RNA, or self-IgG are preferred targets for autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). B cells promote SLE pathogenesis by producing autoantibodies, activating autoreactive T cells, and secreting cytokines. We discuss how certain autoreactive B cells are selectively activated, with emphasis on the roles of key Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Although TLR7, which recognizes ssRNA, promotes autoimmune disease, TLR9, which recognizes DNA, unexpectedly regulates disease, despite being required for the secretion of anti-chromatin autoantibodies. We describe positive feedback loops involving B cells, T cells, DCs, and soluble mediators, and how these networks are regulated by TLR signals.