Oligonucleotide (ODN) therapy is a powerful tool for modulation of gene expression in vivo. With advances in ODN chemistry and progress in formulation development, ODNs are becoming widely acceptable drugs. This review summarizes the current status and future trend of the in vivo application of ODN therapeutics, especially antisense ODNs. Here, we review the current understanding of the tissue/organ distribution and cellular uptake of ODN drugs administered parenterally or nonparenterally to intact animals. The problems and advantages inherent in the use of different delivery methods for the treatment of particular diseases are discussed in detail. Emphasis is placed on the most widely studied ODN analogs, the phosphorothioates (PS). Lessons learned from antisense PS studies have broad implications for ODN therapeutics in general.