The enzyme, thyroid peroxidase (TPO), is a dominant antigen in thyroid autoimmune diseases. Autoantibodies recognised two major dominant conformational epitopes termed A and B. The epitopes have been defined by mAbs, but the amino acid residues which constitute these determinants remain unknown. Using a model of TPO, built from the structure of myeloperoxidase (MPO), we have synthesised peptides corresponding to exposed loops and generated rabbit antibodies to the peptides. Antisera to peptide sequence 599-617 (peptide 14) representing a highly protrusive loop on the TPO, showed the highest inhibition in 65 sera from patients positive with anti-TPO antibodies. The inhibition was by 15-80% (mean 41%), and no other antibody showed any inhibition. Binding of hFabs to the B determinant on TPO was inhibited by anti-peptide 14 antibodies more then 85%, but not Fabs to the A determinant. In conclusion, the peptide 14 defines a sequence taking part in building up the B major conformational epitope. None of generated anti-peptide antibodies alone inhibited the binding of human Fabs to the A epitope, however a combination of four anti-peptide antibodies (P1, P12, P14 and P18) inhibits Fabs binding to the A determinant by more then 60% and autoantibodies binding from 65% to 94%. Combination of antibodies reacting with peptides outside the surface defined by those four anti-peptide antibodies did not give any inhibition of Fabs to TPO. The inhibition of Fabs and auto Abs to TPO by this combination of anti-peptide Abs is the result of steric hindrance as none of these Abs individually inhibited auto Abs' or Fabs' binding to TPO. The four peptides define an area on the enzyme surface where the A and B major conformational epitopes are localised.