8-Hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) is a major oxidative DNA adduct playing roles in senescence, carcinogenesis and various disease processes. High-performance liquid chromatography with an electrochemical detection (HPLC-ECD) method has been widely used to assess organ levels of 8-OHdG, and a recently introduced immunohistochemical approach has made it possible to clarify intra-organ localization. In the present study, these methods were employed to reveal age-dependent changes in nuclear 8-OHdG within various tissues of male Fischer 344 rats between 18 fetal days and 104 weeks of age. 8-OHdG was detected in the nuclei of cerebellar small granule and small cortical cells, cerebral nerve cells, and choroid plexus epithelia of the brain and ependymal cells of the spinal cord; parenchymal cells in the anterior lobe of the pituitary and adrenal glands (mainly cortex); bronchial epithelium of the lung; intra-hepatic bile duct, pancreatic duct, glandular gastric and intestinal epithelial cells; renal tubular epithelial cells (mainly medulla); and spermatogonia and spermatocytes of the testis and seminal vesicle epithelia. The nuclear 8-OHdG levels were high (more than two lesions per 10(6) deoxyguanosines) from 7 days to 104 weeks of age in the brain, 3 to 6 weeks in the adrenal gland, 6 to 104 weeks in the lung, and 3 to 52 weeks in the testis. In the other organs, the nuclear 8-OHdG levels remained low throughout. These findings provide a basis for research dealing with oxidative stress by indicating organ-specific and age- but not aging-dependent changes in the localization of spontaneously generated nuclear 8-OHdG in intact rats. The immunohistochemical approach has advantages for assessing variation of 8-OHdG formation at the cellular level not accessible to the HPLC-ECD method.