The role of T cells and monocytes, as well as that of cytokines, such as IL-1, IL-2 and IL-6, on the IL-4-dependent in vitro human IgE synthesis was investigated. Recombinant IL-4, IL-4-containing T-cell clone supernatants and different combinations of recombinant cytokines failed to induce highly purified B cells to synthesize IgE. IL-4-dependent IgE synthesis was restored by addition to purified B cells of either untreated or mitomycin C-treated autologous T lymphocytes. Addition to purified B cells of autologous monocytes did not restore the IgE response, but usually it exerted a potentiating effect on the synthesis of IgE induced by IL-4 in the presence of suboptimal concentrations of T cells. The activity of T cells apparently preceded that of IL-4 and required a physical contact with B cells. The presence in culture of IL-2 also appeared to be necessary for the T-cell and IL-4-dependent IgE synthesis. Even though not essential, IL-6 was able to potentiate IgE synthesis in most experiments, whereas IL-1 did not display any modulatory effect.