We have defined roles for the hemopoietic-specific Rho guanosine triphosphatase, Rac2, in B lymphocyte development and function through examination of rac2-/- mice. Rac2-deficient mice displayed peripheral blood B lymphocytosis and marked reductions in peritoneal cavity B-1a lymphocytes, marginal zone B lymphocytes, and IgM-secreting plasma cells as well as reduced concentrations of serum IgM and IgA. The rac2-/- B lymphocytes exhibited reduced calcium flux following coligation of B cell AgR and CD19 and reduced chemotaxis in chemokine gradients. T cell-independent responses to DNP-dextran were of reduced magnitude, but normal kinetics, in rac2-/- mice, while T-dependent responses to nitrophenyl-keyhole limpet hemocyanin were subtly abnormal. Rac2 is therefore an essential element in regulating B lymphocyte functions and maintaining B lymphocyte populations in vivo.