Purified human high-mol-wt kininogen (HMWK), the cofactor of the contact phase of blood coagulation, migrated as a single band (approximately 110,000 mol wt) in a continuous buffer sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), but appeared as two separated bands (approximately 120,000 and 105,000 mol wt) when analyzed in a discontinuous buffer SDS-PAGE system. After elution from SDS polyacrylamide gels, each of the two bands showed coagulant activity. Six murine monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) against HMWK were produced and purified. In immunoblotting studies, three Mabs bound to the isolated alkylated heavy chain and one to the alkylated light chain of HMWK, whereas the remaining two bound only to the single-chain or unreduced two-chain molecule. None of the Mabs inhibited the clotting activity of HMWK or its binding to kaolin. Two of the Mabs, one directed against the light chain and one against the heavy chain, were used as specific probes to study HMWK in plasma samples using an immunoblotting technique. The anti-light chain Mab identified two distinct bands (approximately 120,000 and approximately 105,000 mol wt) in normal human plasma, but not in plasma from patients with hereditary HMWK deficiency. The anti-heavy chain Mab detected two additional bands (approximately 60,000 and approximately 54,000 mol wt) corresponding to low-mol-wt kininogen (LMWK) in normal plasma. A sensitive and specific quantitative immunoblotting assay of HMWK antigen in plasma was developed. Moreover, the immunoblotting technique with the anti-light chain Mab was used to detect the cleavage of HMWK in plasma samples after in vitro or in vivo activation of the contact system. The anti- light chain Mab demonstrated in vivo activation and cleavage of HMWK during an angioedema attack in a patient with hereditary angioedema and C1-inhibitor deficiency.