We have examined the distribution of acetylated alpha-tubulin using immunofluorescence microscopy in fibroblastic cells of rat brain meninges. Meningeal fibroblasts showed heterogeneous staining patterns with a monoclonal antibody against acetylated alpha-tubulin ranging from staining of primary cilia or microtubule-organising centers (MTOCs) alone to extensive microtubule networks. Staining with a broad spectrum anti-alpha-tubulin monoclonal indicated that all cells possessed cytoplasmic microtubule networks. From double-labeling experiments using an antibody against acetylated alpha-tubulin (6-11B-1) and antibodies against either tyrosinated or detyrosinated alpha-tubulin, it was found that acetylated alpha-tubulin and tyrosinated alpha-tubulin were often segregated to different microtubules. The microtubules containing acetylated but not tyrosinated alpha-tubulin were cold stable. Therefore, it appeared that in general meningeal cells possessed two subset of microtubules: One subset contained detyrosinated and acetylated alpha-tubulin and was cold stable, and the other contained tyrosinated alpha-tubulin and was cold labile. These results are consistent with the idea that acetylation and detyrosination of alpha-tubulin are involved in the specification of stable microtubules.