Brain tissue of rats pretreated with methylprednisolone or with the 21-aminosteroid U74389F, and that of untreated control rats, was assessed for the expression of Annexin-l (Anx-1) and the transcription of its mRNA. For this purpose Anx-1 cDNA was amplified and simultaneously a T7-RNA-polymerase promotor was incorporated into the cDNA using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Then digoxigenin-ll-UTP was incorporated into the transcribed cRNA with T7-RNA-polymerase. With this probe ill situ hybridization was carried out in sections of the brain. The probe was visualized by an immunoassay using an anti-digoxigenin antibody conjugate. Anx-1 protein was assessed by means of immunohistochemistry using a polyclonal antibody. The various brain areas of the control animals showed an appreciable amount of Anx-1 at mRNA or protein level; on the other hand, the animals which had been pretreated with either steroid, showed a more intense Anx-1 mRNA signal than the controls in many areas. In the pretreated animals Anx-1 immunostaining was unchanged in cortex, basal ganglia, amygdala and septum, but more intense in hippocampus, hypothalamus and thalamus. In ependyma, choroid plexus, meninges, and vascular walls there was no Anx-1 mRNA transcription detectable. An opposite profile was shown by the Anx-1 immunoreactivity, the protein was present in control animals as well as the steroid-pretreated animals, suggesting that here the protein was either from systemic origin, or has diffused from adjacent structures. The results indicate that Anx-1 mRNA transcription is upregulated by either steroid, and that in the untreated animals there is a resting level of Anx-1 mRNA transcription, presumably reflecting physiological influences on Anx-1 expression.