The asyaloglycoprotein receptor is a dimer formed by two polypeptide chains abundantly expressed in the liver (RHL-1 and RHL-2). Using specific primers for the two polypeptide chains we measured, by semiquantitative reverse PCR (RT-PCR), the corresponding mRNAs in different rat tissues. We found that both RHL-1 and RHL-2 mRNAs are expressed in the liver, kidney, brain and thyroid. Under the same conditions we did not detect any specific mRNA in the spleen. In the brain these sequences are expressed along a posterior-anterior gradient. Cerebellum and brainstem display the highest expression of the brain RHL-1 and RHL-2 mRNAs. Tissues and regional distribution of this receptor suggest that other body districts besides liver may participate in the clearance of serum glycoproteins.