AIMS--To identify parietal cells in the upper gastrointestinal tract by an immunoperoxidase method, using commercially available monoclonal antibodies. METHODS--Routine surgical biopsy specimens of gastric body mucosa were examined using the avidin-biotin peroxidase method with the monoclonal antibodies HMFG-1 and HMFG-2 to identify parietal cells. Double immunoperoxidase labelling with HK12.18, a well characterised monoclonal antibody directed against an epitope on the alpha (catalytic) subunit of H+ translocating, K+ stimulated adenosine triphosphatase (H,K-ATPase), was used to confirm that HMFG-1 and -2 stained parietal cells. RESULTS--HMFG-1 and HMFG-2 showed consistent parietal cell staining patterns in the gastric body mucosa. HMFG-2 gave a more intense staining pattern of the secretory canaliculi. This was confirmed by double immunolabelling with HK12.18. CONCLUSIONS--HMFG monoclonal antibodies are recommended as highly specific markers of human gastric parietal cells.