Summary Parvalbumin (PV), a cytoplasmic calcium-binding protein, functions as a relaxing factor and has recently been detected in rat heart. Developmental changes in PV localization and expression were investigated in the heart of Wistar rats at different ages. Ten hearts from newborn, 3-month-old (young), 6-month-old (young adult), and 12-month-old (adult) rats were processed for immunohistochemistry and Western blot assay. PV was detected in hearts of all the age groups of the rats from newborn to 12-month-old by both immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. A variable distribution of PV immunoreactivity was present in newborn cardiac myocytes. In the 3-, 6-, and 12-month-old rat hearts, identical PV immunoreactivity was found in all cardiac myocytes and the intensity of PV immunoreactivity increased with increasing age. By using Western blotting, it was found that the expression of PV was low in the newborn rat heart and increased with increasing age. The presence of PV may correlate with the physiological age, and possibly serves to maintain proper relaxation of the cardiac myocytes to cope with an increasing workload of the heart during body growth.