The major objectives of this study were to determine whether alveolar type II epithelial cells isolated from rat lung and maintained in tissue culture would support productive replication of parainfluenza type 1 (Sendai) virus and to determine whether isolated type II cells from neonatal (5-day-old) rats that are more susceptible to viral-induced alveolar dysplasia supported viral replication to a greater extent than those from weanling (25-day-old) rats. Isolated and cultured type II cells from neonatal and weanling rats that were inoculated with Sendai virus supported productive replication as indicated by ultrastructural identification of budding virions and viral nucleocapsids in type II cells and by demonstration of rising titers of infectious virus from inoculated type II cell cultures. Alveolar macrophages from neonatal and weanling rats also supported viral replication, although infectious viral titers in macrophage cultures were lower than those from type II cell cultures. Only minor differences were detected between viral titers from neonatal and weanling type II epithelial cell cultures. Higher densities of viral nucleocapsids were observed in neonatal type II cells than in those from weanling rats. The results indicate that isolated type II alveolar epithelial cells support productive replication of parainfluenza virus and that type II cells are probably more efficient in supporting productive viral replication than are alveolar macrophages.