The caudal neurosecretory system of the flounder (Platichthys flesus) has been examined by immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization for the expression of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) and calcium-sensing receptors (CaSR). The N-terminus nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of flounder PTHrP were determined and used to prepare oligonucleotide probes and homologous antiserum. The Dahlgren cells of the posterior spinal cord and their axons contained PTHrP protein which was also detected around the capillaries of the urophysis. PTHrP gene expression was abundant in the Dahlgren perikarya and axons in the spinal cord, but it was absent from nerve endings in the urophysis. Calcium-sensing receptor protein was present in the Dahlgren perikarya and axons, also with abundant gene expression, but there was neither protein nor mRNA in the urophysis. There were no apparent differences between freshwater- and seawater-adapted fish in either CaSR or PTHrP expression in the caudal neurosecretory system. These observations suggest that Dahlgren cells produce PTHrP which may be released from axons abutting capillaries in the urophysis. However, the sensing of ionic calcium appears to be confined to the perikarya of the Dahlgren cells in the spinal cord neuropil, suggesting that they are responsive to calcium in the central nervous system rather than the general circulation.