We developed a new monoclonal antibody. B-B4, which specifically identifies human plasma cells. It strongly reacts with all multiple myeloma cell lines and with malignant plasma cells of all tumour samples of the multiple myeloma patients tested. B-B4 does not react with any peripheral blood, bone marrow or tonsil cells. Cloning of the B-B4 antigen reveals that the monoclonal antibody recognizes syndecan-1. It appears that the monoclonal antibody B-B4 is a suitable marker for human plasmocyte identification among haemopoietic cells and a useful probe for the diagnosis of haematological malignancies. Furthermore, this monoclonal antibody can be used for depletions prior to CD34 grafting.