In this study we performed a cell kinetic characterization of the growth and differentiation of human keratinocytes. Using a combination of immunohistochemical and flow cytometric techniques it was possible to obtain a detailed description of these processes. The proliferative activity of the cell cultures was analysed with flow cytometric techniques, measuring relative DNA content, iododeoxyuridine incorporation and the expression of the antigen recognized by Ki-67. In addition to a standard monolayer culture technique, cells were maintained in suspension. Under these conditions these cells were not capable of dividing, started to lose their nuclei, and the expression of differentiation-related proteins such as involucrin and filaggrin was induced, suggesting that the cells changed towards a differentiated phenotype. Binding of the antibody Ks8.12, recognizing keratins 13 and 16, occurred under all culture conditions, independent of cell density, and also in suspension, suggesting that it is a marker for abnormal differentiation rather than for hyperproliferation.