The separation of benign reactive mesothelium (RM) from malignant mesothelial proliferation can be a major challenge. A number of markers have been proposed, including epithelial membrane antigen, p53 protein, and P-glycoprotein. To date, however, no immunohistochemical marker that allows unequivocal discrimination of RM from malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has been available. A family of glucose transporter isoforms (GLUT), of which GLUT-1 is a member, facilitate the entry of glucose into cells. GLUT-1 is largely undetectable by immunohistochemistry in normal epithelial tissues and benign tumors, but is expressed in a variety of malignancies. Thus, the expression of GLUT-1 appears to be a potential marker of malignant transformation. Recently, in fact, some studies have shown that GLUT-1 expression is useful for distinguishing benign from malignant lesions. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the diagnostic utility of GLUT-1 expression for diagnostic differentiation between RM and MPM. Immunohistochemical staining for GLUT-1 was performed in 40 cases of RM, 48 cases of MPM, and 58 cases of lung carcinoma. Immunohistochemical GLUT-1 expression was seen in 40 of 40 (100%) MPMs, and in all cases the expression was demonstrated by linear plasma membrane staining, sometimes with cytoplasmic staining in addition. GLUT-1 expression was also observed in 56 out of 58 (96.5%) lung carcinomas. On the other hand, no RM cases were positive for GLUT-1. GLUT-1 is a sensitive and specific immunohistochemical marker enabling differential diagnosis of RM from MPM, whereas it cannot discriminate MPM from lung carcinoma.