Prostate tissue samples from patients with prostatic carcinoma (PC) and/or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) were examined for expression of transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) using an immunohistochemical technique. Tissues were stained with CC and LC antisera, which react with extracellular and intracellular TGF-beta 1, respectively. All PC and BPH tissues showed positive extracellular staining; however, CC-immunoreactive material was significantly more extensive in PC compared with BPH, the average positively staining areas being 59% and 26%, respectively. This differential staining pattern was evident in cases in which areas of PC were located adjacent to areas of BPH. LC staining was identified exclusively intracellularly involving both stromal and epithelial cells in cases of PC as well as BPH. However, while stromal cell staining was more pronounced in BPH, epithelial cell staining tended to be more extensive and more intense in PC. The findings suggest that TGF-beta 1 may be biologically important in the development of PC and BPH.