Male rat liver microsomes contain a [3H]dexamethasone binding site, capable of binding glucocorticoids and progesterone. We have shown previously that the 17 alpha-alkylated androgen, stanozolol, can inhibit the [3H]dexamethasone binding to microsomes through a negative allosteric mechanism, which gives rise to the possibility of its interaction with a different binding site. In this study, the existence of a single-saturating binding site, capable of binding the radioactive steroid with a maximum number of the specific binding site of 49 +/- 2 pmol/mg of protein and a Kd of 37 +/- 1.3 nM was demonstrated by using [3H]stanozolol. In competition experiments, only stanozolol and danazol were able to compete with [3H]stanozolol for its binding to microsomes, among more than 60 steroids and other compounds tested. The binding of [3H]stanozolol was depressed after protease treatment of the microsomes, or after the administration of cycloheximide to adult male rats for 24 hr, which suggest its proteic nature. The [3H]stanozolol binding site was detected in many tissues of the rat, with the highest concentrations being found in the liver. It was detected from birth, increasing afterward in concentration and reaching a peak at 2 to 3 months of age. This is the first experimental verification of the existence in liver microsomes of a specific binding site for some 17 alpha-alkylate androgens, such as stanozolol and danazol, different from the androgen receptor or the [3H]dexamethasone binding site.