Ten monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were obtained by immunizing animals with triacetylated histone H4 from cuttle-fish. The fine specificity of these antibodies was studied using various populations of acetylated H4, (H3H4)2 tetramers and histone octamers as well as with acetylated and nonacetylated peptides of H4. None of these mAbs were found to recognize triacetylated H4. Only five of them bound to diacetylated, monoacetylated and nonacetylated H4. One antibody was specific for H4 associated in the form of histone octamers and did not bind to any nonacetylated or acetylated form of H4 monomers. Eight of the antibodies were specific for residues situated in the region 9-23 of H4. None of the mAbs was completely specific for acetylated forms of H4. In contrast, antisera raised in rabbits against triacetylated H4 reacted strongly with tri and diacetylated H4, weakly with monoacetylated H4 and barely or not at all with nonacetylated H4.