The anatomical distribution of different individual cytokeratin polypeptides and of vimentin was investigated by means of immunofluorescence with 41 monoclonal antibodies in guinea pig and mouse eyes. Simple epithelial type cytokeratins 7, 8, 18, and 19 selectively decorated conjunctival goblet cell clusters in mouse specimens and a continuous superficial cell layer of the corresponding part of guinea pig conjunctiva. A changed pattern of squamous epithelial type cytokeratins was found in the limbal region of the guinea pig eye as compared to the corneal epithelium. Cytokertains 3 and 17, which stained the entire corneal epithelium, were not detected, whereas cytokeratin 4, 5 and 13 were expressed. A focal vimentin and cytokeratin coexpression in the limbus of guinea pig is interpreted as indicating corneal stem cells. Similar patterns of expressions were found in the mouse ocular surface. In both species, a cytokeratin 4 staining of basal conjunctival epithelial cells could be detected. The neuroectodermally derived epithelia of the eye such as the retinal pigment epithelium and the ciliary body epithelia expressed solely the cytokeratin pair 8/18.