Although reagents are available to block mouse complement receptor type 2 and/or type 1 (CR2/CR1, CD21/CD35) function in acute or short term models of human disease, a mouse anti-rat antibody response limits their use in chronic models. We have addressed this problem by generating in Cr2−/− mice a mouse monoclonal antibody (mAb 4B2) to mouse CR2/CR1. The binding of murine mAb 4B2 to CR2/CR1 directly blocked C3dg (C3d) ligand binding. In vivo injection of mAb 4B2 induced substantial down regulation of CR2 and CR1 from the B cell surface, an effect that lasted six weeks after a single injection of 2 mg of mAb. The 4B2 mAb was studied in vivo for the capability to affect immunological responses to model antigens. Pre-injection of mAb 4B2 before immunization of C57BL/6 mice reduced the IgG1 antibody response to the T-dependent antigen sheep red blood cells (SRBC) to a level comparable to that found in Cr2−/− mice. We also used the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model, a CR2/CR1-dependent autoimmune disease model, and found that mice pre-injected with mAb 4B2 demonstrated substantially reduced levels of pathogenic IgG2a antibodies to both the bovine type II collagen (CII) used to induce arthritis and to endogenous mouse CII. Consistent with this result, mice pre-injected with mAb 4B2 demonstrated only very mild arthritis. This reduction in disease, together with published data in CII-immunized Cr2−/− mice, confirm both that the arthritis development depends on CR2/CR1 receptors and that mAb 4B2 can be used to induce biologically relevant receptor blockade. Thus mAb 4B2 is an excellent candidate for use in chronic murine models to determine how receptor blockage at different points modifies disease activity and autoantibody responses.