The expression of class II MHC determinants by fetal and maternal macrophages in human uteroplacental tissues was examined with monoclonal antibodies directed against HLA-DR, DP and DQ antigens. Maternal macrophages in early and full-term pregnancy decidua were HLA-DR positive, and a substantial proportion also expressed DP and DQ antigens. Fetal macrophages in chorionic villous stroma in first-trimester pregnancy were rarely HLA-DR positive, and DQ and DP antigens were never expressed. In term placental tissues, groups of villous stromal macrophages were HLA-DR positive, as were fetal macrophages within amniotic mesenchyme. In contrast, DP and DQ antigens were detected on a small minority of fetal macrophages in term placental tissues. DP and DQ antigens were not detected in the absence of DR antigens.