We used in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry with polyclonal antibodies against the mouse bumetanide-sensitive Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl- cotransporter (mBSC2) to determine the location of this cotransporter in rat brain. Northern blots and in situ hybridization showed the presence of cotransporter mRNA in the brain, with an especially high level of expression in the choroid plexus (CP). Affinity-purified anti-BSC2 antibody identified proteins of 145-155 kDa on Western blot analysis and immunoprecipitation of brain and CP membrane protein. Indirect immunofluorescence demonstrated that BSC2 protein is located on the apical surface of the CP and is heterogeneously distributed in cell bodies and dendrites of neurons in the central and peripheral nervous system. The apical localization of BSC2 in the CP was confirmed by 86Rb+ uptakes in primary cultures of CP cells grown on permeable filters and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. The apical localization of the cotransporter in CP epithelium suggests a role for the cotransporter in cerebrospinal fluid K+ homeostasis. In neurons, the cotransporter may help regulate intracellular Cl- concentration and thereby affect neuronal response to gamma-aminobutyric acid.