Recently, a new type of transmembrane protein with a unique combination of protein domains was characterized from human, rabbit and chicken. This protein exhibits features of the low-density lipoprotein receptor family and shows homology to the receptor of the neuropeptide head activator isolated from hydra. To study the temporal and spatial pattern of expression of this unusual new receptor we have isolated a murine homolog and, in accordance with its human counterpart, named it mSorLA. Northern blot analysis revealed the highest abundance of mSorLA transcripts in the adult brain, lower levels in a variety of other organs and expression during embryogenesis. In situ hybridization showed predominant localization in neurons of the cortex, the hippocampus and the cerebellum. During embryonic development mSorLA displayed a unique pattern of expression in the cerebral cortex, where a subpopulation of neurons was labeled before final differentiation. Transcripts of mSorLA were also detected outside the central nervous system in regions active in morphogenesis.