Cyclophilin (CYP) is the major intracellular binding protein for the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporine (CS). CYP distribution was investigated in human tissues by solid-phase immunoassay, Western and Northern blot analysis as well as immunohistochemistry. CYP was found in all tissues examined at concentrations in the range of 1 microgram/mg protein. Furthermore, mRNA specific for CYP was found in every tissue, indicating local production of the protein. Immunohistochemical investigations revealed preferential parenchymal and only little stromal localization. Within certain organs, e.g. kidneys, regional differences of immunoreactive CYP was evident. The presence of CYP was also investigated in several lymphoid and non-lymphoid cell lines and was found at comparable concentrations. Immunogold staining confirmed cytosolic, but revealed also nuclear localization of CYP. The possible role of this abundant CS binding protein is discussed.