B lymphocytes that recognize soluble self-Ags are routinely found in normal individuals in a functionally inactive or anergic state. Current models indicate that this tolerant state is maintained by interactions with self-Ags that uncouple the BCR from downstream signaling pathways and increase levels of free calcium. Contrary to this expectation, B cells that harbor anti-insulin Ig transgenes (125Tg) are maintained in a tolerant state even though free calcium levels remain normal and tyrosine kinase substrate phosphorylation is preserved following BCR stimulation. Under basal conditions, intracellular levels of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate are increased and NFATc1 levels are reduced in 125Tg B cells. The 125Tg B cells are markedly impaired in their ability to mobilize calcium upon stimulation with ionomycin, and BCR-induced calcium mobilization from internal stores is decreased. In contrast, poisoning intracellular calcium pumps with thapsigargin increases calcium mobilization in 125Tg B cells. Changes in calcium signaling are accompanied by a failure of 125Tg B cells to translocate NFATc1 into the nucleus following stimulation with either anti-IgM or ionomycin. Thus, disassociation of BCR from multiple signaling pathways is not essential for maintaining tolerance in anti-insulin 125Tg B cells. Rather, BCRs that are occupied by autologous insulin deliver signals that induce changes in intracellular calcium mobilization and maintain tolerance by preventing activation of key transcription factors such as NFAT.