Western blot analysis showed that a monoclonal antibody against recombinant mouse CD14 (mCD14), designated rmC5-3, specifically reacted with mouse macrophage cell line J774, but not myeloma cell line NS1. Fluorographic and immunocytochemical analysis demonstrated specific binding of rmC5-3 with mouse resident macrophages, inflammatory monocytes and neutrophils, and macrophage cell lines. Immunohistochemical staining using rmC5-3 showed that CD14-positive Kupffer cells (KC) were small in number in the liver in nonstimulated mice. The number of stained KC, which were rich in the midzonal and periportal regions, gradually increased with time after intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), peaked 6 h after injection, and returned to normal by 20 h after injection. Staining intensity over time was proportional to the number of KC. A slight increase in mCD14 expression was observed in peritoneal macrophages 2 h after LPS administration in vivo using flow cytometric analysis. mCD14 mRNA became detectable at 1 h after the intraperitoneal injection of LPS (20 micrograms/mice), and the level dramatically increased with time, peaking at 3 h, and sharply dropped at 6 h. The resident peritoneal macrophages demonstrated a constitutively high mCD14 mRNA expression, which slightly increased 2 h after LPS (100 ng/ml) stimulation in vitro. The level of mCD14 expression in macrophages did not increase after intraperitoneal injection of LPS (20 micrograms/mice).