CD147 is a 50 000–60 000 MW glycoprotein of the immunoglobulin superfamily broadly expressed on haemopoietic cell lines and peripheral blood cells. In the present study, six monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against the CD147 protein were generated. The antigen defined by the generated CD147 mAbs is widely expressed on haemopoietic cell lines, peripheral blood cells and is a lymphocyte activation-associated cell surface molecule. The generated CD147 mAbs precipitated a broad protein band from U937 cells of 45 000–65 000 MW under reducing conditions. Functional analysis indicated that the CD147 mAbs markedly induced homotypic cell aggregation of U937 cells, but not K562 cells. The CD147 mAb-induced cell aggregation was inhibited by leucocyte function-antigen-1 (LFA-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) mAbs. However, the expression of LFA-1 and ICAM-1 molecules on U937 was not altered by CD147 mAb treatment. The U937 cell aggregation induced by CD147 mAb was also inhibited by ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA), sodium azide and when incubated at 4°. We therefore propose that the binding of CD147 mAb to CD147 molecule, which mimics the natural ligand binding, may generate intracellular signals that activate LFA-1/ICAM-1 intercellular adhesion pathway.