We previously established a method, called high-density cDNA filter analysis (HDCFA), for analyzing the expression profiles of a large number of genes in a systematic manner. In the present study, we constructed a cDNA filter of about 8300 cDNAs from a human cerebral cortex cDNA library and quantitatively analyzed their expression in human adult brain, fetal brain, kidney and liver using HDCFA. Using a comparison of the relative amount of expression of each clone in different tissues and following (partial) sequence analysis, about 200 clones were selected as those preferentially expressed in adult or fetal brain, one half of which may be unknown. Their expression was further analyzed in human neuroblastoma cell lines, a human glioma cell line, human cerebral cortex, cerebellum and kidney. Finally, eight clones were selected and sequenced as characteristically expressed genes (cDNAs). A homology search revealed that three clones were human homologues of the rat genes preferentially expressed in brain and five clones were unknown. The full-length cDNA sequence of one of the unknown clones was determined.