The BLR1 gene, isolated initially from Burkitt's lymphoma cells (Eur. J. Immunol. 1992. 22: 2795), encodes a G protein-coupled receptor with significant relationship to receptors for chemokines (IL-8, MIP-1 alpha) and neuropeptides. The murine homologue of human BLR1 was cloned and used to investigate its expression in vivo. blr1-specific transcripts are observed in secondary lymphatic organs and to a lesser extent in brain of adult mice but not in other tissues. RNA in situ hybridization localizes blr1 transcription to primary follicles and to the mantle zone of secondary follicles. SCID mice in which mature B cell development is severely impaired exhibit a strongly reduced level of blr1-specific RNA in the spleen. The analysis of murine lymphoid tumor cell lines representing distinct stages of the B cell lineage reveals elevated expression of blr1 in B cell lymphomas but not in pre-B lymphomas or plasmacytomas. Induction of differentiation of resting B cells by cytokines or mitogens down-regulates expression of blr1. RNA in situ hybridization using brain sections of adult mice detects blr1 transcription in the granule and Purkinje cell layer of the cerebellum. Interestingly, the blr1 gene is also expressed during late embryogenesis in fetal liver and brain. In view of the remarkable expression pattern in the B cell lineage we suggest that murine BLR1 may represent a cytokine/neuropeptide receptor exerting regulatory functions on recirculating mature B lymphocytes.