The aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) is a basic-helix-loop-helix/Per- ARNT-Sim (bHLH/PAS) transcription factor that is involved in multiple signaling pathways. This study focuses on the tissue distribution and subcellular localization of ARNT during embryological development of the mouse and chicken. Two different species were chosen to determine the consistency of the ARNT staining pattern. Immunohistochemical techniques were used to stain sections of embryos over three developmental time points for each species. Mouse tissues evaluated from embryonic day 10.5, 12.5, and 15, exhibited predominant nuclear staining with little change in expression patterns over time. Chicken tissues evaluated from embryonic day 2, 4, and 10 also showed predominant nuclear staining within all cells and little change in expression over developmental time, as well as, low levels of cytoplasmic ARNT staining in some cells. Importantly, in all tissues, the level of ARNT staining within the nuclear compartment was greater than staining observed in the cytoplasm. Thus, the overall conclusions from these studies are that i) the predominant subcellular localization of ARNT protein is nuclear, and ii) that mouse and chicken appear to maintain ARNT protein expression in many cell types over developmental time. These data support vertebrate ARNT as a nuclear transcription factor and a model in which dimerization partners require nuclear localization for interaction.