Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), an enzyme expressed in bone-resorbing osteoclasts, is secreted into the circulation during bone resorption. We used six monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to optimize direct two-site fluoroimmunoassays for determining serum TRAP concentrations. Four of the MABs, 1F1, 2H1, 4E6, and 5C1, were raised against recombinant human TRAP, and the other two, O1A and J1B, against human bone TRAP. 2H1, J1B, and O1A appeared to be highly specific for TRAP. 1F1 and 4E6 were poor in recognizing bone TRAP and were not useful in the assay. 5C1, while having a good affinity for the bone enzyme, was not specific. Serum TRAP is relatively stable, because 7 days of storage of serum samples at 4 degreesC and -20 degreesC or five thawing-freezing cycles, did not change the TRAP concentration detected using the two-site assays. All studied assays detected an increase in serum TRAP concentrations of postmenopausal women compared with premenopausal women, the difference being highest with MAB pairs 2H1-5C1 and O1A-J1B. These results suggest that serum TRAP may be a useful bone resorption marker, and the MAB pairs 2H1-5C1 and O1A-J1B may be useful in determining the bone resorption rate.