Production of a mouse monoclonal antibody reactive with a human nuclear antigen associated with cell proliferation

Int J Cancer. 1983 Jan 15;31(1):13-20. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910310104.


The production of a mouse monoclonal antibody, Ki-67, is described. The Ki-67 antibody recognized a nuclear antigen present in proliferating cells, but absent in resting cells. Immunostainings with Ki-67 revealed nuclear reactivity in cells of germinal centres of cortical follicles, cortical thymocytes, neck cells of gastrointestinal mucosa, undifferentiated spermatogonia and cells of a number of human cell lines. The Ki-67 antibody did not react with cells known to be in a resting stage, such as lymphocytes, monocytes, parietal cells and Paneth's cells of gastrointestinal mucosa, hepatocytes, renal cells, mature sperm cells, brain cells, etc. Expression of the antigen recognized by Ki-67 could be induced in peripheral blood lymphocytes after stimulation with phytohaemagglutinin, whereas it disappeared from HL-60 cells stimulated with phorbol esters to differentiate into mature macrophages in a resting stage. These findings suggest that Ki-67 is directed against a nuclear antigen associated with cell proliferation. A first series of immunostainings of tumour biopsies indicated that Ki-67 may be a potent tool for easy and quick evaluation of the proportion of proliferating cells in a tumour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Antigens, Nuclear
  • Cell Division*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Nucleoproteins / immunology*
  • Palatine Tonsil / immunology
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens
  • Antigens, Nuclear
  • Nucleoproteins
  • Phytohemagglutinins