Using a four-step immunoperoxidase (PAP) method and the monoclonal antibody MAbA9-C6 (MAbA9-C6), which defines an epitope of the retinal S-antigen (S-Ag), we investigated the S-Ag immunoreactivity in human fetal, newborn, infantile and adult pineal glands and in 13 human pineal parenchymal tumors. S-Ag immunoreactivity was demonstrated in a few cells in one of the four fetal and in both infantile glands. Eight of nine adult pineal glands contained isolated MAbA9-C6-positive cells. In two of seven pineocytomas showing neuronal or gangliogliomatous differentiation a few scattered cells displayed S-Ag positivity; two of four pineoblastomas contained small groups of strongly immunoreactive neoplastic cells; two malignant pineocytomas did not demonstrate any S-Ag immunoreactivity. Our results indicate that isolated cells in human pineal gland retain some of the cytochemical characteristics of photoreceptor cells recognized by the MAbA9-C6, and that S-Ag immunoreactivity may be occasionally expressed in pineal parenchymal tumors.