B-cell development occurs in a stepwise fashion that can be followed by the expression of B cell-specific surface markers. In this study, we wished to identify proteins that could contribute to the changes in expression of such markers. By using RNA from freshly isolated B220+ cells, we hoped to reduce the effect of artifacts that occur during the isolation and amplification steps necessary to use flow cytometry analysis-sorted subsets in microarray experiments. Analyses comparing expression patterns from B220+ 2-week bone marrow (pro-B, pre-B, immature B cells), 2-week spleen (predominantly transitional cells) and 8-week spleen (mainly mature B cells) yielded hundreds of genes. We also examined the B cell-activating factor (BAFF)-dependent effects on immature splenic B cells by comparing expression patterns in the spleen between 2-week A/J vs 2-week A/WySnJ mice, which lack functional BAFF receptor signaling. Genes that showed the expression differences between spleen and bone marrow samples were then analyzed through quantitative PCR on B-cell subsets isolated using two different sorting protocols. A comparison of the results from our study with the results from other analyses showed not only some overlap of preferentially expressed genes but also an expansion of other genes potentially involved in B-cell development.