Phosphatase ultrastructural cytochemistry was used to evaluate the participation of cytoplasmic organelles in the accumulation of fibrillar amyloid beta (Abeta) in exocrine acinar cells and in macrophages of the pancreas of transgenic mice overexpressing a carboxy-terminal fragment of Abeta protein precursor (ABPP). Nucleoside diphosphatase (NDPase) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) were used as cytochemical markers of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), thiamine pyrophosphatase (TPPase) as a marker of the Golgi apparatus (GA), and acid phosphatase (AcPase) as a marker of lysosomes. Monoclonal antibody 4G8 raised against the 17-24 aa sequence of human Abeta protein was used for immunogold localization of fibrillar Abeta. The results of this study indicate that the formation of Abeta in acinar cells occurs directly in the vacuolar areas of the rough ER (RER) without evident participation of the elements of the GA, whereas an intimate structural relation with primary lysosomes suggests their role in modification or digestion of the deposited amyloid. In macrophages, fibrillar amyloid was present in numerous cytoplasmic vacuoles located frequently in close proximity to flattened saccules of the ER. This structural pattern revealed similarity to that observed previously in microglial cells producing fibrillar PrP amyloid in scrapie-infected mice and Abeta in brains of human elderly patients and in Alzheimer's type brain pathology.