Monoclonal antibody (MAb) HIK1083, which is obtained by immunizing mice with a preparation of rat gastric mucins, has been shown to bind specifically to alpha-linked N-acetylglucosamine (alpha-GlcNAc). We investigated the specificity of MAb HIK1083 by immunostaining normal human organs, mucinous metaplasia of human pancreas, adenocarcinomas of human stomach, pancreas, and colon, and normal rat organs. The specificity was investigated by making comparisons with (a) a stain that labels Class III concanavalin A (ConA)-reactive mucin (Class III mucin), i.e., paradoxical ConA (PCS), and (b) staining with horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-conjugated Griffonia simplicifolia agglutinin II (GSA-II). In normal human and rat organs and in mucinous metaplasia of human pancreas, immunostaining with MAb HIK1083 and PCS showed similar specificities for mucins in glandular mucous cells. In adenocarcinoma of stomach and pancreas, GSA-II showed the most widespread positivity, PCS showed the least, and MAb HIK1083 showed a reactivity between those two extremes. Colon adenocarcinomas were labeled only with GSA-II. These results demonstrate that MAb HIK1083 could be a useful screening tool for Class III mucin in normal, metaplastic, and carcinoma tissues, and that the alpha-GlcNAc residue is one of the specific sugar residues found in Class III mucin.