Expression of phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) in the rat testis at several pre and postnatal developmental stages was investigated by immunohistochemistry. The enzyme was localised in vascular smooth muscle cells, as well as in Leydig and peritubular cells. The latter were identified as myoid, based on their immunoreactivity to desmin and alpha-smooth muscle actin. The presence of PDE5 in myoid cells was confirmed by Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry performed on highly purified cell fractions, obtained from 16-day-old rats. The expression of PDE5 in these somatic cells of rat testis is discussed in view of the roles played by cGMP signal transduction pathways in the mammalian male reproductive function.