In mice, peritoneal B cells are composed of a unique B-1 cell population which can repopulate the intestinal lamina propria with IgA-producing cells, as well as contribute to the majority of serum IgM. In this study, peritoneal lymphocytes from patients starting continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) and from women undergoing bilateral tubal ligation (BTL) were analysed for the presence of a B-1 cell population as well as the expression of potential homing receptors. Up to 63% of the peritoneal B cells express surface antigen CD5, and most peritoneal lymphocytes express the mucosal homing receptors, alpha4 beta7 and alphaE beta7. When analysing serial samples collected from patients from the beginning of dialysis to 1 year, no marked changes were observed in serum or salivary immunoglobulin levels, although the peritoneal lymphocyte population was reduced by 50%. These data suggest that the phenotype of human peritoneal B-1 cells is similar to that of mice, but the contributions to the immune system may differ.