Human spasmolytic polypeptide (hSP) is a member of the growing family of trefoil peptides which are expressed in discrete regions of the body, most notably the gastrointestinal tract. Much of the research into the localization of the spasmolytic polypeptide has relied on hybridization in situ to detect its mRNA, due to the absence of a suitable antibody. The aim of the present study was to develop and characterize a monoclonal antibody against the human spasmolytic polypeptide, using a combination of immunohistochemistry and hybridization in situ. After immunoblotting, the antibody detected a 14 kDa protein in gastrointestinal tissue extracts from the stomach and small intestine only. Using immunohistochemistry, human spasmolytic polypeptide showed a distinctive staining pattern in the duodenum which co-localized with its mRNA. The co-localization of the immunoreactive peptide with its mRNA provides good evidence that the antibody truly recognized human spasmolytic polypeptide.