The simple mucin-type carbohydrate antigens Tn, sialyl-Tn and T represent the mucin core oligosaccharide structures that are produced in the initial steps of mucin biosynthetic pathway. Utilising monoclonal antibodies anti-Tn antigen, anti-sialyl-Tn antigen and anti-T antigen, we have investigated the expression of the simple mucin-type carbohydrate antigens in 47 biopsy specimens of antral mucosa with chronic active gastritis, 25 of which had Helicobacter pylori infection. The Tn immunoreactivity, localised at the supranuclear region of surface and glandular mucous cells, was observed in all samples, independently from H. pylori status. The sialyl-Tn antigen, mainly localised in the cytoplasm of glandular mucous cells and in goblet cells vacuoles, was seen in 56% of the cases with H. pylori infection and in 41% of the cases in the H. pylori-negative group. In addition, the T antigen was found in the cytoplasm of surface and glandular mucous cells in 16% of the H. pylori-positive group, whereas the percentage of positive cases was reduced to 5% in H. pylori-negative patients, with an exclusive localisation in the cytoplasm of glandular mucous cells; after neuraminidase treatment, the percentage of T antigen-positive cases was increased to 28% in H. pylori-positive cases and to 27% in negative cases. No significant relationships between H. pylori infection and Tn, sialyl-Tn or T antigen immunoexpression were encountered in our cases. Therefore, we maintain that the inflammatory infiltrate may itself play an important role in the expression of simple mucin-type carbohydrate antigens in chronic active antral gastritis.