In the mouse, conventional B cells are continuously generated from precursor cells located in the bone marrow (BM), whereas the small subset of B-1 cells (formerly called Ly-1 B cells) constitute a self-replenishing population of cells. Here we studied the kinetics of murine peritoneal B-1a cells (i.e. B-1 cells expressing CD5). The actual number of B-1a cells in the peritoneal cavity that are proliferating, as detected by metaphase arrest and S-phase index, was below detection level, indicating that these cells do not divide significantly at this anatomical location. To establish the life-span of B-1a cells we used long-term administration of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine in combination with three-color immunocytology on cytospin preparations. The renewal rate of peritoneal B-1a cells was 1.3% per day representing a 50% renewal time of 38 days. Splenic B cells and popliteal lymph node B cells (predominantly conventional B cells) showed an almost identical renewal rate of 1.1 % per day. The data show that peripheral B cells from various lymphoid tissues and locations do not differ significantly in their renewal capacity, even though there are differences in their developmental origin.