Decidual cells are endometrial fibroblasts that redifferentiate during pregnancy in several species of mammals. In this work, we describe a subpopulation of resident decidual cells in the mouse endometrium that are joined by intercellular junctions and have cytoplasmic granules. Decidualization was induced in pseudopregnant mice on the 4th day of pseudopregnancy by injection of 30 microl of arachis oil into the uterine lumen. The uteri were collected on day 8 of pseudopregnancy (at 4 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.) and on day 9 (at 8 a.m.). The tissues were fixed for light and electron microscopy. During day 8 of pseudopregnancy, granulated cells were present at the antimesometrial pole of the endometrium; they were concentrated at the periphery of the antimesometrial decidua and disappeared on day 9 of pseudopregnancy. The cytoplasm of the granulated decidual cells had acidophilic granules that stained also with periodic acid-Schiff (PAS). These granules stained with anti-rat prolactin antibody in both light and electron microscope immunocytochemical preparations. Vacuoles of various sizes were always present in the granulated cells. A PAS-positive and prolactin-stained material was often deposited at the periphery of the vacuoles. Our results indicate that the granulated decidual cells are the source of decidual prolactin which accumulates in cytoplasmic granules. These granulated cells therefore form a transient gland in the mouse antimesometrial endometrium (granulated decidual gland).