Neutrophil proteases are believed to play a role in the pathogenesis of a variety of human diseases. While many studies of proteases in models of disease have focused on elastase, neutrophils contain several proteases some of which share high degree of homology. This report describes the production and characterization of an IgG1 murine monoclonal antibody (AHN-10) that reacts with human neutrophil elastase but not with the other major neutrophil neutral proteases: cathepsin G, proteinase 3, collagenase, or the newly purified neutral protease, esterase N. AHN-10 inhibited the elastonolytic activity of purified human neutrophil elastase and could detect elastase in alcohol-fixed cytospin preparations. The epitope recognized by AHN-10 was resistant to treatment with NaIO4, suggesting that the epitope is not a carbohydrate. AHN-10 should be useful for the immunolocalization of neutrophil elastase in tissue specimens and as a stable source of characterized antibody for quantitative identification of neutrophil elastase.