The toxicokinetic profile of ochratoxin A was studied after the oral or intravenous administration of 50 ng/g b.w. to fish, quail, mouse, rat and monkey. The elimination half-life varied from 0.68 h after oral administration to fish, up to 840 h after intravenous administration to monkey. The distribution volume ranged from 57 ml/kg in fish to 1500 ml/kg in quail. The plasma clearance was most rapid in quail and fish, 72 and 58 ml/kg.h, respectively, while it was only 0.17 ml/kg.h in monkey. The bioavailability was as low as 1.6% in fish but as high as 97% in mouse. The binding abilities of ochratoxin A to plasma proteins were also studied. From these data we calculated the free fraction of toxin in plasma, which we found to be less than 0.2% in all species investigated (including man) except fish. A similar but smaller investigation on the toxicokinetics and binding properties of ochratoxin B was also performed. Ochratoxin B was more readily eliminated and had a lower affinity for plasma proteins, which partly may explain its lower toxicity.