Formation of an immunological synapse (IS) between APCs and T CD4(+) lymphocytes is a key event in the initiation and the termination of the cognate immune response. We have analyzed the contribution of the APC to IS formation and report the implication of the actin cytoskeleton, the signaling proteins and the lipid rafts of B lymphocytes. Recruitment of MHC class II molecules to the IS is concomitant with actin cytoskeleton-dependent B cell raft recruitment. B cell actin cytoskeleton disruption abrogates both IS formation and T cell activation, whereas protein kinase C inhibition only impairs T cell activation. Pharmacological B cell lipid raft disruption inhibited peptide-dependent T lymphocyte activation and induced peptide-independent but HLA-DR-restricted APC-T cell conjugate formation. Such peptide-independent conjugates did not retain the ability to activate T cells. Thus, B cell lipid rafts are bifunctional by regulating T cell activation and imposing peptide stringency.