A wide variety of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have now been produced which recognize cell surface antigens on human peripheral blood monocytes. However, few of these mAb demonstrate specificity for monocytes, and fewer still recognize antigens exclusively on monocytes activated by one or more stimuli and/or block specific monocyte functions. The mAb A1-3 binds to lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated monocytes but not to resting blood monocytes, and inhibits the procoagulant activity of these LPS-activated cells. By using this mAb, we examined the reactivity of monocytes/macrophages (MO) in a broad range of normal and inflammatory tissues by means of a sensitive, four-layer immunoperoxidase technique. Cells of the MO system, in addition to lymphocytes and dendritic cells resident in lymphoid tissues, liver, lung, and other organs, were nonreactive with the A1-3 mAb. In contrast, intense staining of inflammatory MO was found in biopsies from patients with renal allograft rejection, acute glomerulonephritis, or granulomatous diseases. This apparent restriction of A1-3 binding to inflammatory, "activated" MO suggests that A1-3 mAb will be useful for the analysis of MO "activation" in many pathologic processes.