To define the relationship of donor-specific B lymphocyte alloantibodies to renal allograft survival, longitudinal serum samples obtained pre- and post-transplantation were examined for antibodies cytotoxic to donor B lymphocytes. Ten of 17 renal allograft recipients had antibodies to donor B lymphocytes but not T lymphocytes either pre- and/or post-transplantation. Three patients underwent successful transplants despite preformed B cell antibodies; however, seven who developed B cell antibodies only after transplantation are either undergoing chronic rejection (4) or have had severe rejection crisis (3). Seven patients with no B cell antibodies have functioning grafts. In all cases, B cell antibodies were detected before biochemical and clinical evidence of rejection. Similar findings were noted when sera of 38 renal transplant recipients were examined for B cell antibodies cytotoxic to an unrelated panel of B lymphocytes. These results demonstrate that the development of B cell alloantibodies after transplantation is often associated with rejection and that successful renal transplantation can be performed across a positive B cell crossmatch.