Here we report the generation of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) LOV3 and LOV8 to a 110-130-kDa membrane glycoprotein expressed by rat NK cells. This NK surface molecule was identified by eucaryotic expression cloning as the structural orthologue of the phagocytosis-stimulating receptor for complement factor C1q and mannose-binding lectin on human macrophages, C1qRp. Rat C1qRp is a monomeric type I integral membrane protein consisting of 643 amino acids with an N-terminal lectin-like domain, five epidermal growth factor-like domains, a transmembrane domain and a 45-residue cytoplasmic domain. It is encoded by a single gene on rat chromosome 3q41-q42 and is 67% and 87.5% identical at the amino acid level to human and mouse C1qRp, respectively. Rat C1qRp is expressed by resting and by activated NK cells, on subpopulations of NKR-P1(+) T cells (NK/T cells), dendritic cells, macrophages and granulocytes, but not by B cells or NKR-P1(-) T cells. Expression of this innate immune receptor is therefore not restricted to hematopoietic cells of the myeloid lineage, but is also expressed on subsets of cells of lymphoid origin. The mAb did not affect the cytotoxic function of NK cells, and C1qRp on NK cells may have functions not related to NK killing.