Little is known about the comparative distribution of voltage-dependent calcium channel subtypes in normal human brain. Previous studies in experimental animals have predominantly focused on the regional expression of single alpha 1 genes. We describe the preparation of riboprobes and antisera specific for human alpha 1A, alpha 1B and alpha 1E subunits and their application in comprehensive mapping studies of the human cerebellum. Within the cerebellar cortex, these pore forming proteins were found to have differential localisations when examined in adjacent sections. The alpha 1A and alpha 1B subunits broadly colocalised and were both present, though at apparently different levels, in the molecular, Purkinje and granule cell layers whilst alpha 1E was predominantly expressed in Purkinje cells. In the dentate nucleus, an area which has received little attention in previous studies, alpha 1A was highly expressed in regions in which Purkinje cell nerve terminals form synapses with deep cerebellar neurones.