Autoimmunity arises when immune tolerance to specific self-antigens is broken. The mechanisms leading to such a failure remain poorly understood. One hypothesis proposes that infectious agents or antigens can break B or T lymphocyte self-tolerance by expressing epitopes that mimic self. Using a transgenic immunoglobulin model, we show that challenge with self-mimicking foreign antigen rescues B cells from peripheral tolerance independent of T cell help, resulting in the accumulation of self-reactive cells in the lymph nodes and secretion of immunoglobulins that bind to a liver-expressed self-antigen. Therefore, our studies reveal a potentially important mechanism by which B lymphocytes can escape self-tolerance.