The expression of cerebellin and cerebellin mRNA was studied by radioimmunoassay and Northern blot analysis in the human brain, adrenal gland and the tumour tissues of adrenal tumour, ganglioneuroblastoma and neuroblastoma. Immunoreactive cerebellin was detected in every region of brain studied, with the highest concentrations found in the hemisphere of the cerebellum (424·2 ± 12·6 pmol/g wet weight, n=6, mean ± s.e.m.) and the vermis of the cerebellum (256·8 ± 30·5 pmol/g wet weight). Immuno-reactive cerebellin was also detected in the pituitary (8·2 ± 1·8 pmol/g wet weight), the spinal cord (3·3 ± 0·3 pmol/g wet weight) and the normal parts of adrenal glands (2·98 ± 0·37 pmol/g wet weight, n=9) and some tumour tissues, such as phaeochromocytomas, cortisol-producing adrenocortical adenomas, ganglioneuroblastomas and neuroblastomas. Northern blot analysis showed that cerebellin mRNA was highly expressed in the hemisphere and vermis of the cerebellum. Cerebellin mRNA was also expressed in other regions of the brain and the tumour tissues of phaeochromocytoma, cortisol-producing adrenocortical adenoma, ganglioneuroblastoma and neuroblastoma. Immunocytochemistry of the normal adrenal gland showed that immunoreactive cerebellin was localized in the adrenal medulla. The present study has shown the expression of cerebellin and cerebellin mRNA, not only in the cerebellum but also in other regions of the brain and some tumours, such as cortisol-producing adrenocortical adenoma, phaeochromocytoma and neuroblastoma. These findings suggest possible pathophysiological roles of cerebellin peptides, not only in the cerebellum, but also in the extra-cerebellar tissues.