Paraffin embedded sections of human liver, lymph node, and placenta showed that certain connective tissue cells were positive for factor XIII subunit a. These cells were further characterised by double immunofluorescence labelling and by combined immunofluorescence and enzyme cytochemical staining on frozen sections. They were labelled by the monoclonal antibodies RFD7 and anti-Leu M3 (markers of the macrophage cell line) but gave a negative reaction for the fibroblast marker IIG10 and showed no alkaline phosphatase activity. Immunoblotting detected factor XIII subunit a in macrophages isolated from placenta but not in human fibroblasts. At lower dilutions, the commercially available antibody against the b subunit of factor XIII also positively reacted with the same cell population. The facts that immunoblotting showed that the antiserum crossreacted with the a subunit and that placental macrophages did not stain strongly for the b subunit also indicate that this antigen is not present in adult connective tissue cells.
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