The carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) family comprises many members with pleiotropic functions. Among normal tissues, placenta is characterized by the abundant production of many different kinds of CEA-related proteins, which are apparently important for the maintenance of pregnancy. Using RNA differential display applied to mouse placentae at different gestational days, we have isolated a novel CEA-related cDNA designated as Ceacam11. Ceacam11 cDNA encodes 303 amino acids with a possible signal peptide and two immunoglobulin variable region-like domains. This domain composition is observed only in mouse Cea10/Ceacam10 among the many CEA family members thus far reported. The transcript of Ceacam11 was first detected in the placenta at 12.5 days post-coitus (dpc) and the level increased progressively towards 17.5 dpc. The expression of Ceacam11 appears to be reciprocal to that of Ceacam10, since the Ceacam10 transcripts were detected at 8.5 and 10.5 dpc, but not at 12.5 to 17.5 dpc. In situ hybridization showed that the expression of Ceacam11 was localized to the spongiotrophoblast of the placenta. Except for in the placenta, Ceacam11 transcripts were not detected in any adult tissues examined, including brain, lung, glandular stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, kidney and testis.