Androgen actions and androgen receptors (ARs) have been described in human breast cancer cells both in vivo and in vitro. With the use of a new monoclonal anti-AR antibody, AR was immunohistochemically demonstrated in 76 primary breast cancers. Positive immunostaining was found in 79 percent of tumours. Benign ductal epithelium was often AR-positive whereas the tumour stroma lacked AR immunoreactivity. At the subcellular level, nuclear localization was evident using either cross-linking (Zamboni's fluid) or precipitating (acetone) fixatives on frozen sections. The use of archival paraffin-embedded tissue yielded negative results. A significant association was found between expression of AR and oestrogen receptor (ER) (P = 0.0006) determined immunohistochemically on adjacent sections. Most progesterone receptor (PR)-negative cases were also AR-negative (P = 0.02), but significant proportion (38 percent) of AR-positive tumours did not contain PR. Unlike ER, AR was not associated with aneuploidy or erb-B2 oncogene overexpression, and was only marginally associated with tumour proliferation rate (S-phase fraction by DNA flow cytometry). In conclusion, the close association of AR with ER and PR suggests that immunohistochemical determination of androgen receptors may have value as a prognostic factor and/or predictor of response to endocrine therapy.