In the present work we have studied the occurrence and the characteristics of human B lymphocytes which are capable of spontaneous immunoglobulin (Ig) production in short-term cultures. It was found that this type of B cells secreted predominantly IgG and were present in the circulation as well as in the lymphoid tissue (tonsil and lymph node) of normal subjects. Tissular and circulating cell subsets exhibited many similarities: These cells produced Ig during a 3-day culture period without apparent need for T cells or monocytes. Protein and DNA synthesis were required for Ig secretion to occur. In Percoll fractionation experiments these cells showed low density, as they were mainly collected in the 42.5-45% Percoll fractions. These subsets consisted of cells considerably larger in size than the majority of B lymphocytes, as determined by Ig sedimentation. They were commonly defined as SmIg- Ia+ B cells by panning fractionation techniques. All these common characteristics suggest that these B cells have reached an advanced stage of maturation in vivo in both circulation and lymphoid tissue. Further surface marker analysis demonstrated that tissular but not circulating B-cell subset reacted with peanut agglutinin and the BA-2 monoclonal antibody which probably indicates their germinal center origin.