Cathepsin B is a lysosomal enzyme of importance in many physiological and pathological processes. Its distribution in human tissues was studied by an indirect immunoperoxidase method. Cathepsin B was demonstrated in macrophages, hepatocytes, renal tubules, gastrointestinal epithelium and fibroblasts, confirming previous studies. It was demonstrated for the first time by immunohistology in several other tissues, especially stratified squamous epithelium, transitional epithelium, salivary glands, pancreas, central and peripheral neuronal cell bodies, trophoblast and all endocrine organs. Widespread distribution of cathepsin B has been postulated several times but this is the fullest evidence that the enzyme indeed occurs in many organs. In pathology cathepsin B has so far been thought to be involved in demyelination, emphysema, rheumatoid arthritis and neoplastic infiltration.