HLA class II allele DRB1*0401 is associated with predisposition to Rheumatoid Arthritis in humans as well as collagen-induced arthritis in mice. Predominantly females develop arthritis in humans and DR4 transgenic mice; however the mechanism of sex-bias is still unknown. We have investigated the molecular basis by which DR4 is associated with sex-bias of arthritis. Here we show that differential antigen-specific immune mechanisms in DR4 male and female mice lead to increased susceptibility in female mice. B cells are hyperactive and present DR-restricted peptides robustly in females compared to males. Antigen-specific response showed that females produced B cell modulating cytokines like IL-13 while males produced IFNgamma. Male transgenic mice have higher number of T and B regulatory cells. An exogenous supply of 17beta estradiol in male mice led to enhanced expression of DR4 and antigen-specific response to DR4-restricted peptides. On the other hand, castration increased the incidence of arthritis. We propose that sex-bias in arthritis involves B cells and presentation of antigen by HLA-DR4 leading to activation of autoreactive cells and autoantibodies production in females, while regulatory B cells in males protect them from pathogenesis. The transgenic mice expressing RA susceptible haplotype simulate human RA and may be valuable to study gender differences observed in patients.