T cell costimulation by B7 molecules plays an important role in the regulation of alloimmune responses. Although both B7-1 and B7-2 bind CD28 and CTLA-4 on T cells, the role of B7-1 and B7-2 signaling through CTLA-4 in regulating alloimmune responses is incompletely understood. To address this question, we transplanted CD28-deficient mice with fully allogeneic vascularized cardiac allografts and studied the effect of selective blockade of B7-1 or B7-2. These mice reject their grafts by a mechanism that involves both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells. Blockade of CTLA-4 or B7-1 significantly accelerated graft rejection. In contrast, B7-2 blockade significantly prolonged allograft survival and, unexpectedly, reversed the acceleration of graft rejection caused by CTLA-4 blockade. Furthermore, B7-2 blockade prolonged graft survival in recipients that were both CD28 and CTLA-4 deficient. Our data indicate that B7-1 is the dominant ligand for CTLA-4-mediated down-regulation of alloimmune responses in vivo and suggest that B7-2 has an additional receptor other than CD28 and CTLA-4 to provide a positive costimulatory signal for T cells.