Lipocalin-type prostaglandin D synthase (L-PGDS) is a multifunctional protein that produces prostaglandin D(2) and binds and transports various lipophilic substances after secretion into various body fluids as beta-trace. L-PGDS has been proposed to be a useful diagnostic marker for renal injury associated with diabetes or hypertension, because the urinary and plasma concentrations are increased in patients with these diseases. However, it remains unclear whether urinary L-PGDS is synthesized de novo in the kidney or taken up from the blood circulation. In crude extracts of monkey kidney and human urine, we found L-PGDS with its original N-terminal sequence starting from Ala23 after the signal sequence, and also its N-terminal-truncated products starting from Gln31 and Phe34. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemical staining with monoclonal antibody 5C11, which recognized the amino-terminal Ala23-Val28 loop of L-PGDS, revealed that both the mRNA and the intact form of L-PGDS were localized in the cells of Henle's loop and the glomeruli of the kidney, indicating that L-PGDS is synthesized de novo in these tissues. However, truncated forms of L-PGDS were found in the lysosomes of tubular cells, as visualized by immunostaining with 10A5, another monoclonal antibody, which recognized the three-turn alpha-helix between Arg156 and Thr173. These results suggest that L-PGDS is taken up by tubular cells and actively degraded within their lysosomes to produce the N-terminal-truncated form.