We have found that the immature T cell lines R1.1 and DPK and the macrophage lines P388D1 and WEHI-3 also express kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) mRNA. Characterization of the KOR transcripts in both brain tissue and these T cells has revealed both the normal full-length as well as a truncated form of the mRNA. Our results show that the truncated transcript lacks the second exon. Primary macrophages express this truncated form of the transcript in the absence of detectable levels of the full-length form. These results suggest a degree of heterogeneity in the expression of the opioid receptors which has not previously been reported.