We have investigated the effect of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific for aminopeptidase N/CD13 on the invasion of human metastatic tumor cells into reconstituted basement membrane (Matrigel). The invasion of human metastatic tumor cells (SN12M renal-cell carcinoma, HT1080 fibrosarcoma and A375M melanoma) into Matrigel-coated filters was inhibited by an anti-CD 13 MAb, WM15, in a concentration-dependent manner. However, this MAb did not have any effect on tumor-cell adhesion and migration to the extracellular matrices, which may be involved in tumor-cell invasion. MAb WM15 inhibited the degradation of type-IV collagen by tumor cells in a concentration-dependent manner. We also found that WM15 inhibited hydrolysing activities towards substrates of aminopeptidases in 3 different tumor cells. Since our previous study indicated that bestatin, an aminopeptidase inhibitor, was able to inhibit tumor-cell invasion, as well as aminopeptidase activities of murine and human metastatic tumor cells, cell-surface aminopeptidase N/CD13 may be partly involved in the activation mechanism for type-IV collagenolysis to achieve tumor-cell invasion, and anti-CD13 MAb WM15 may inhibit tumor-cell invasion through a mechanism involving its inhibitory action on the aminopeptidase N in tumor cells.