Our recent data indicate that the MHC class I-related receptor, FcRn, plays a role in regulating serum IgG levels, in addition to its known role in transferring IgG from mother to young. In the current study, the distribution of FcRn in adult mice has been investigated using several approaches. First, tissue distribution of anti-FcRn F(ab')2, murine IgG1 and recombinant, IgG1-derived Fc-hinge fragments has been analyzed, and these FcRn binding proteins localize predominantly in skin and muscle with lesser amounts in liver and adipose tissue. Second, histochemical analyses of muscle and liver with anti-FcRn F(ab')2 indicate that FcRn is expressed in the endothelium of small arterioles and capillaries, but not in larger vessels such as the central vein and portal vasculature. Third, immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence studies of cultured murine endothelial cells show that functional FcRn is expressed in these cells, and is located within vesicular structures in the cytosol and not on the membrane. Taken together the data demonstrate that FcRn is expressed in functionally active form in endothelial cells, indicating that these cells are a possible site at which serum IgG homeostasis is maintained.