Antigen-independent B-cell development occurs in several stages that depend on the expression of Ig heavy and light chain. We identified a line of mice that lacked mature B cells in the spleen. This mouse line carried approximately 11 copies of a transgene of the murine heavy chain constant region locus, and B-lineage cells expressed excessive amounts of the intracellular μ heavy chain. B-cell development failed in the bone marrow at the pro/pre B-cell transition, and examination of other lines with various copy numbers of the same transgene suggested that deficiencies in B-cell development increased with increased transgene copy number. Expression of a transgenic (Tg) light chain along with the Tg μ heavy chain led to minimal rescue of B-cell development in the bone marrow and B cells in the spleen. There are several potential mechanisms for the death of pro/pre B cells as a consequence of excess heavy chain expression.