The life history of isotype-switched B cells is unclear, in part, because of an inability to detect rare antigen-specific B cells at early times during the immune response. To address this issue, a small population of B cells carrying targeted antibody transgenes capable of class switching was monitored in immunized mice. After contacting helper T cells, the first switched B cells appeared in follicles rather than in the red pulp, as was expected. Later, some of the switched B cells transiently occupied the red pulp and marginal zone, whereas others persisted in germinal centers (GCs). Antigen-experienced IgM B cells were rarely found in GCs, indicating that these cells switched rapidly after entering GCs or did not persist in this environment.