Abstract The visceral endoderm of the mouse embryo is a polarized epithelium which has recently been shown to express villin, a major actin binding component of absorptive epitheliums. We report here that villin is induced during differentiation of aggregates of the mouse embryonal carcinoma F9, an in vitro system widely used to study extraembryonic endoderm differentiation. Identical results were obtained with a variant of F9 which carries an immortalizing vector. Villin is coexpressed with F-actin and with α-foetoprotein, in most of the visceral endoderm-like cells lining the aggregates. This system is potentially useful to study (i) the induction of villin expression and (ii) the establishment of polarity in the visceral endoderm epithelium.