CD163 is a member of the group B scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) superfamily. This study describes aspects of the tissue distribution, the regulation of expression, and signal transduction after cross-linking of this receptor at the cell surface of macrophages. CD163 showed an exclusive expression on resident macrophages (e.g., red pulp macrophages, alveolar macrophages). The expression was inducible on monocyte-derived macrophages by glucocorticoids but not by interleukin-4 (IL-4), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and interferon-gamma. The combination of IL-4 or GM-CSF with glucocorticoids resulted in a further increase. Subcellular analysis of alveolar macrophages by immunoelectron microscopy showed a plasma membrane localization of the antigen. Cross-linking of CD163 with monoclonal antibody induced a protein tyrosine kinase-dependent signal that resulted in (1) slow-type calcium mobilization, (2) inositol triphosphate production, and (3) secretion of IL-6 and GM-CSF. The data suggest a function for the SRCR-superfamily receptor CD163 in the regulation of inflammatory processes by macrophages.