Parietal cells in the gastric mucosa are known not only as cells playing major roles in food digestion but also as cells bearing endocrine function. In addition to their production of gastrin and ghrelin, it has been recently revealed that these cells are also involved in the synthesis and secretion of estrogens with their expression of aromatase in experimental animals. Although aromatase activity has been detected in human gastric cancer cells and related cell lines, much less study has been done to ascertain the expression of the enzymatic activity in normal gastric mucosa. It has not been established which cell type is responsible for estrogen production in human gastric glands consisting of epithelial cells of several types. The aim of this study is to define the expression of aromatase by parietal cells in human gastric glands using immunohistochemical techniques. We retrieved formalin-fixed paraffin embedded materials of gastric biopsies from 16 patients (nine men, seven women). Colocalization of aromatase and H+/K+-ATPase β-subunit indicated that positive cells are parietal cells, but not chief cells and mucous cells. Furthermore, immunoreactivity of aromatase was detected within gastric glands irrespective of age or sex. These results suggest that human parietal cells synthesize estrogens within gastric mucosa and subsequently secrete them to the portal vein via gastric vein, as they do in rats. These estrogens might influence liver functions in humans. The estrogenic effects related to liver dysfunction might also be attributed to them.