Abstract Primed mice with low titers of circulating tetanus antitoxin (AB) were stimulated via the hind footpads with either fluid tetanus toxoid alone (AG) to create in vivo complexes in AG excess, or the same dose of toxoid complexed at equivalence with isologous antibody (AB-AG CPX), to have in vivo complexes in AB excess. All experimental animals reacted with three topically distinct consecutive waves of enhanced proliferative activity in popliteal lymph nodes, i.e., in the T-zone (peak on day 2), in the medullary area, the main site of plasmocytopoiesis (day 3), and in lymphoid follicles (day 5–6). Maximum serum AB titers following injection of AG-AB CPX were only about 25% of those found in animals boosted with AG alone. This suppressive effect was best reflected in a comparable reduction in plasmocytopoiesis, and to an lesser extent in the proliferative activity within the T-zone, and not at all in the overall magnitude of germinal center formation and/or expansion. However, the patterns of germinal center kinetics differed markedly between the two groups: a high sharp peak of development on day 5, followed by a marked drop on day 6 characterized the response in mice given AG alone, and a broad peak around day 6 that of those receiving AG-AB CPX. These differences could not adequately be accounted for by variations in centroblast/centrocyte proliferation rate vs. pycnotic indices, so that different patterns of lymphoid cell emigration from the centers may be considered. The results suggest that immune complexes, fixed on follicular dendritic cells, with different antigen-to-antibody ratios have divergent effects on the development and kinetics of germinal centers, the principal sites of memory B cell generation.