In the present study, we first examined the expression of T-cadherin in human CNS by northern blot analysis, immunohistochemical staining, and in situ hybridization. Northern blot analysis demonstrated expression of T-cadherin in human adult cerebral cortex, medulla, thalamus, and midbrain. Immunohistochemical staining with a newly generated monoclonal antibody, designated MA-511, revealed strong expression of T-cadherin in neural cell surface membrane and neurites in adult cerebral cortex, medulla oblongata, and nucleus olivaris. Little or no expression of T-cadherin was found in spinal cord. We further examined T-cadherin expression in various developing nervous systems, and found that T-cadherin expression was lower in developing brain than in adult brain. In situ hybridization revealed that neural cells in medulla oblongata and nucleus olivaris, but not in spinal cord, possessed T-cadherin molecules. We transfected T-cadherin-negative TGW and NH-12 neuroblastoma cells with a T-cadherin cDNA-containing expression vector. T-cadherin-expressing neuroblastoma cells lost mitogenic proliferative response to epidermal growth factor. Epidermal growth factor is known to be required for proliferation of neural stem cells. This finding, together with those of the present study, suggests that T-cadherin functions as a negative regulator of neural cell growth.