The intestine is a major osmoregulatory organ in euryhaline fishes which allows them to survive in the sea, and natriuretic peptides have been implicated in regulation of transmural transport. Atrial (ANP) and ventricular natriuretic peptide (VNP) were identified in eel intestine. Elution profiles of ANP and VNP from high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were determined by radioimmunoassay using highly specific antisera. Elution times of immunoreactive ANP and VNP in HPLC were identical to those of authentic peptide standards and were consistent with the relative molecular masses of these peptides. Tissue localization of ANP and VNP was accomplished by fluorescence immunohistochemistry. Immunoreactive cells were observed in the epithelium of anterior, middle, and posterior regions of intestine. Reverse transcription of mRNA isolated from intestine and subsequent polymerase chain reaction amplification yielded appropriate-size products consistent with ANP and VNP expression. Together, these data show that natriuretic peptides are synthesized locally in eel intestine, rather than trapped from the circulation.