KB tumor cells exhibit an increased number of folate receptors on their membrane. This receptor has been proposed as a promising target for tumor drug targeting. Therefore, the disposition of folate-conjugated bovine serum albumin (folate-BSA) was examined as a model system for drug targeting. Nude mice which had received KB tumor cell transplants were given bolus intravenous administration of either 111In-labeled folate-BSA (111In-folate-BSA; 1 mg/kg) or unmodified 111In-BSA (111In-BSA; 1 mg/kg). The disposition characteristics and pharmacokinetics of 111In-folate-BSA were compared with those of the 111In-BSA as a control. The half-life of the beta-phase of 111ln-folate-BSA in plasma was 140 min. The tumor uptake rate index for 111In-folate-BSA was 0.46 microL/min/g, and that for 111In-BSA was 0.32 microL/min/g. This index of 111In-folate-BSA was slightly higher than that of 111In-BSA in vivo, by a factor of 1.4. In vivo experiments showed folate-BSA has a relatively long plasma duration. 111In-folate-BSA also showed selective distribution to tumors, but not as great as recent results from in vitro experiments. Therefore, the low vascular permeability of BSA into solid tumor tissue and inhibition of folate-mediated 111In-folate-BSA uptake by tumor cells from the blood may be the rate-limiting factor of distribution.