Along humoral immune responses, different stimuli drive the differentiation of B lymphocytes to Ig-secreting plasma cells in discrete microenvironments. The Blimp-1 transcription factor is up-regulated early during the transition of mature B cells to IgM-secreting plasma cells. In the present study, we have examined the requirement of Blimp-1 in plasma cell formation after both T cell-independent (LPS) and -dependent (CD40 + IL-4, Th cell lines) stimulation of spleen B cells. B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein (Blimp-1) was expressed early after in vitro LPS stimulation, mainly in a population of IgM+Syndecan+CD43+ preplasma cells. In contrast, the BSAP transcription factor expressed in mature B cells was down-regulated during the differentiation to plasma cells. Treatment of these cultures with Blimp-1-specific antisense phosphorothioate oligonucleotides suppressed both Blimp-1 protein levels and the emergence of IgM+Syndecan+ cells and plasma cells. However, T-B cell cocultures of spleen B cells from C3H/HeJ (H-2k) mice and syngeneic autoreactive SR.10 Th2 cells submitted to the anti-Blimp-1 therapy did not show any significant reduction in IgM- and IgG1-secreting plasma cell formation. Spleen B cells treated with anti-CD40 mAb + IL-4 differentiated to IgG1-secreting cells without significant transcription of the Blimp-1 gene; anti-Blimp-1 treatment subsequently did not have any effect in the later cultures. Altogether, these results suggest that Blimp-1 transcription factor specifically promotes T cell-independent B cell differentiation to plasma cells, probably at preplasma cell stages. In contrast, T cell-dependent plasma cell formation likely evolves through Blimp-1-independent pathways.