In this study, we have immunohistochemically characterized the expression of mononuclear phagocyte markers CD14, CD36, CD68, CD204 and MARCO by parenchymal microglia in the developing and adult mouse brain. We further investigated whether these cells express two well-characterized phenotypic markers of dendritic cells: CD205 (DEC-205/NLDC-145) and MIDC-8 antigen. Our results confirm the lack of expression of dendritic cell markers by microglia. We noted that these cells do not appear to express markers associated with monocytes and macrophages during the course of development, but do express CD68 and CD204 antigens in the adult. Unexpectedly, we also noted the transient expression of MIDC-8 antigen on cells within the medial ganglionic eminence and by neuroepithelial cells lining the lateral ventricles and in the medial lemniscus between E15 and E19. We discuss this finding in the context of neural and haematopoietic differentiation.