The BXSB murine model of systemic lupus erythematosus is differentiated from other murine models of lupus by a severe monocytosis. The recently identified Y-linked autoimmune accelerator locus, Yaa, which is fundamental to accelerated disease in male BXSB mice, is required for the monocytic phenotype in BXSB. It has also recently been shown to induce monocytosis in combination with the Nba2 locus from NZB. To dissect the genetic basis and associated pathogenicity of BXSB-related monocytosis, a panel of existing congenic mice were studied and a novel sub-congenic mouse B10.Y(BXSB).BXSB-Bxs3 was generated. Monocytosis was found to be caused by an epistatic interaction between Yaa and the telomeric region of chromosome 1, an area of approximately 30 cM. Bxs3 and Yaa together were sufficient to generate monocytosis equivalent to that of BXSB. In contrast to the NZB model, however, where monocytosis tightly correlated with autoantibody production and lethal lupus nephritis, this was not the case in BXSB. While Yaa(+) mice bearing the Bxs3 locus drive monocytosis, glomerulonephritis and autoantibody production, both autoantibody production and nephritis are discreet events that occur in the absence of the Bxs3 locus. Yaa is a pre-requisite for monocytosis, demonstrating a novel synergistic interaction between Yaa and Bxs3.