The low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) has been localized in human brain at the level of neurons, astrocytes and along capillary membranes. It is a multifunctional receptor responsible for binding and internalization of lipoproteins enriched with apoliprotein E, lipoprotein lipase, protease-alpha 2 macroglobulin complexes and plasminogen activator-inhibitor complexes. LRP expression is observed in cells involved in Alzheimer's disease, neoplastic transformation and tissue repair. Moreover, its synthesis is modulated during brain development. In this study we used the SK-N-AS human neuroblastoma cell line as a model system to study LRP expression during cellular differentiation induced by phorbol esters, retinoic acid and interferon gamma. Since LRP plays a major role in the regulation of lipid metabolism, the decreased levels of LRP measured by immunofluorescence, western blot and PCR on differentiated neuroblastoma cells may be the consequence of the lower requirements of cholesterol and lipids of differentiated cells in relation to their reduced mitotic index.