Transplantation tolerance is a state of immune unresponsiveness (or benign responsiveness) to the presence of specific, nonself antigens in the absence of chronic immunosuppressive therapy. Renal transplant tolerance remains a desired yet generally unattained goal that would enable transplantation to be performed without the risk of graft rejection or the need for broadly immunosuppressive drugs, which can have toxic effects. Studies published in the past few years have provided evidence that B cells have an important role in both graft rejection and transplantation tolerance. Indeed, antibody-dependent and antibody-independent functions of B cells account for both tolerogenic and rejection-promoting immune responses in transplant recipients. This Review comprises a discussion of the mechanisms involved in the induction of B-cell tolerance and a survey of current and emerging therapies that target the effects of B cells in transplant recipients.