We evaluated on serial sections the distribution of a large number of integrin alpha and beta chains in normal adult human kidney: 1) the beta 1 chain and its corresponding alpha subunits (alpha 1, alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 4, alpha 5, alpha 6), 2) alpha v and beta 3 chains, 3) the beta 2 chain and its corresponding alpha chains (alpha X, alpha M, alpha L), and 4) the beta 4 chain. We also evaluated ICAM-1, VCAM and ELAM and the major extracellular matrix components (ECM). A three step immunoperoxidase technique was used on frozen sections. Each cell of the kidney shows a specific distribution of these molecules. The relation with ECM and some of their ligands was evaluated. This immunohistochemical study shows that there is no strict colocalisation of a given ECM component with its specific receptor.