Caveolin (cav-1) and the GPI-anchored alpha-folate receptor (alphaFR) are membrane proteins both found associated to caveolar structures. Several studies in tumor cells independently reported cav-1 downregulation and alphaFR overexpression. Here we analysed the expression of the two molecules in normal and tumor ovarian samples derived from fresh specimens and from cultured cell lines. Whereas normal ovary surface epithelial cells displayed only cav-1 expression, ovarian tumor surgical samples and cell lines (COR, IGROV1, OVCAR3 and OVCA432) displayed high alphaFR and low-level or no cav-1 expression, except those cell lines (SKOV3 and SW626) with the lower alphaFR expression. SKOV3, but not two alphaFR-negative non-ovarian cell lines, exhibited down-regulation of cav-1 expression following stable alphaFR cDNA transfection. Conversely, cav-1 transfection in IGROV1 cells led to downregulated alphaFR expression, together with formation of caveolar structures and reduction of growth capability. Moreover, cav-1 expression was induced in IGROV1 cells by transfection with intracellular anti-alphaFR antibodies to downmodulate alphaFR expression. In cav-1 transfected cells, transcriptional activity of the alphaFR-specific promoter P1 was reduced by 70% and an additional specific DNA-protein complex was identified by gel-shift assay, indicating that cav-1 expression influences alphaFR gene transcription. Together these results support the notion that alphaFR and cav-1 protein expression is reciprocally regulated in ovary cancer cells.