An engagement of CD40 with CD40 ligand (CD40L) expressed on activated T cells is known to provide an essential costimulatory signal to B cells in vitro. To investigate the role of CD40 in in vivo immune responses, CD40-deficient mice were generated by gene targeting. The significant reduction of CD23 expression on mature B cells and relatively decreased number of IgM bright and IgD dull B cells were observed in the mutant mice. The mutant mice mounted IgM responses but no IgG, IgA, and IgE responses to thymus-dependent (TD) antigens. However, IgG as well as IgM responses to thymus-independent (TI) antigens were normal. Furthermore, the germinal center formation was defective in the mutant mice. These results suggest that CD40 is essential for T cell-dependent immunoglobulin class switching and germinal center formation, but not for in vivo T cell-dependent IgM responses and T cell-independent antibody responses.