Sera from patients with antiglomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) antibodies associated with Goodpasture syndrome (GP) or glomerulonephritis were tested by ELISA and electroimmunoblot against whole basement membrane collagen (type IV) isolated from bovine anterior lens capsule (ALC) and bacterial collagenase resistant domains of the collagen molecule, that is, the NC-1 and 7-S domains isolated from either ALC or bovine and human glomerular basement membrane (GBM). Reactivity was high with the NC-1 domain by both the ELISA and the electroimmunoblot techniques. Some of the anti-GBM sera reacted with both the NC-1 and 7-S domains of both human and bovine type IV collagen. At a time when the patients' sera reacted weakly with a collagenase digest of human GBM using a radioimmunoassay, the reactivity with the NC-1 domain was also low, but some of the sera continued to react with the 7-S domain. The data suggest that there may be heterogeneity in the nature of autoantibodies with respect to collagen type IV domain reactivity in the sera of patients with anti-GBM antibody disease.