Antibodies have been raised against a fusion protein containing the 3' region of the coding sequence of the Antennapedia (Antp) gene fused to beta-galactosidase. The distribution of the protein on whole mount embryos and imaginal discs of third instar larvae was examined by immunofluorescence. In young embryos, expression of the Antp protein was limited to the thoracic segments in the epidermis, whereas it was found in all neuromeres of head, thorax and abdomen. At the end of embryogenesis, the Antp protein mainly accumulated in the ventral nervous system in certain parts of the thoracic neuromeres, from posterior T1 to anterior T3, with a gap in posterior T2. Comparison of Antp protein distribution in nervous systems from wild-type and Df P9 embryos, lacking the genes of the Bithorax-complex (BX-C), revealed a pattern of expression which indicated that the BX-C represses Antp in the posterior segments with the exception of the last abdominal neuromeres (A8-9) which are regulated independently. The protein pattern in nervous systems from Sex combs reduced(Scr) mutant embryos was indistinguishable from that found in wild-type embryos; thus, neurogenic expression of Antp in T1 and the more anterior segments does not appear to be under the control of Scr. All imaginal discs derived from the three thoracic segments express Antp protein. The distribution was distinct in each disc; strongest expression was observed in the proximal parts of the discs. In the leg discs the protein distribution seemed to be compartmentally restricted, whereas in the wing disc this was not the case. Antp protein was not detected in the eye-antennal disc. In embryos, as well as in imaginal discs, the protein is localized in the nucleus.