Cryosections of normal adult lung (n = 7) and pulmonary epithelial tumors, including squamous (n = 8), adeno (n = 8), bronchioloalveolar (n = 5), and large cell (n = 4) carcinomas (SCC, ACC, BAC, LCC), carcinoids (Cd, n = 7), and neuroendocrine carcinomas (NEC) of variable grades (n = 14) were immunostained by the avidin-biotin peroxidase (ABC) method with monoclonal antibodies to the alpha1-6 and alpha(v) and the beta1-4 integrin subunits. Normal adult alveolar septae showed variably intense immunoreactivity for alpha1,3,6 and beta1, whereas reactions for alpha5 and alpha(v) were weaker and uneven; the remaining integrin subunits were not detected. Bronchial and bronchiolar epithelium showed variably intense staining for alpha2.3,6,v and beta1,4. Reactions were often, though not invariably, basally polarized. SCC, ADC, and LCC showed variably intense reactions for alpha2.3,6,v and beta1,4. BAC were strongly and uniformly stained for alpha1.3 and beta1. In Cd, alpha1,2,3,v and beta1 reactions were noted, whereas in NEC, weak alpha1,3 and beta1 staining was detected with only traces of alpha6 and alpha(v). We conclude that alveolar epithelial cells do not express the hemidesmosome-associated, laminin-binding integrin alpha6beta4 of the bronchial epithelium but rather the alpha1beta1 and alpha3beta1, collagen IV, and laminin receptors, respectively. SCC, ADC, and sampled LCC express an integrin repertory qualitatively similar to that of the bronchial epithelium. Distinct from the latter, the integrin repertory of BAC parallels that of the alveolar epithelium by its strong expression of the multipotential alpha1beta1 and alpha3beta1 integrins. NEC tumors do not display the laminin receptors alpha6beta4 and alpha6beta1 shown by SCC and ADC but express instead alpha1beta1, a collagen IV-laminin receptor rarely found in epithelial neoplasms except for BAC. In NEC tumors, integrins, especially alpha2, decrease with dedifferentiation. Notably distinct from epithelial mesotheliomas, the major fibronectin-binding integrin alpha5beta1 was not found in any type of lung carcinoma.