Invertebrates, estrogens act on the reproductive system but also affect the functioning of non-reproductive tissues such as the immune system. In teleost fish, effects of estrogens and xenoestrogens have been reported extensively, but the available information on targeted tissues and cells is still scarce. Moreover, a better knowledge of the distinct ER subtypes is required to find out the mechanistic pathways by which estrogen compounds are able to disrupt endogenous estrogen signaling in fish immunity. The present study aimed at characterizing, in male rainbow trout juveniles, multi-tissue gene expression pattern of one isoform of estrogen receptor (ER), ER alpha 1, at the mRNA and protein levels. The mRNA levels for ER alpha 1 were measured in various lymphoid organs by real-time RT-PCR and ER alpha 1 protein level by Western blot. Furthermore, this protein was located by immunohistochemistry in the same organs. The transcripts were ubiquitously expressed, but at a higher level in testis and liver, while the protein was more abundant in testis and skin. Moreover, the ER alpha 1 was detected in endothelial, Kupffer, mucous and chloride cells, hematopoietic tissues, proximal tubule, epithelia of the skin and intestine, in the lamina propria and in the stratum granulosum. This distribution backs the idea that in male rainbow trout, estrogeno-mimetic compounds could be involved in different immune mechanisms such as inflammatory response, transport of Ig, mucus production, regulation of cellular immunity and development and maturation of lymphoid and myeloid cells. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.