237Np nitrate was injected intravenously into 4-week-old (young) and 10-12-week-old (adult) female albino Sprague-Dawley rats. The amounts given were 52 (young), 5.2 (adult) and 26 kBq kg-1 body weight (adult). The microscopic distribution in the femur and the lumbar vertebrae was studied. Initially, neptunium was distributed uniformly on periosteal and endosteal bone surfaces, and additionally, activity was found in the vascular canals of hard tissue. Dose-rates and cumulative doses were found to increase from marrow to hard tissue, and periosteal and endosteal surfaces, the highest levels being found in the spongy bone of the distal femoral metaphysis. Initially, the highest dose rates were found in hard tissue of the distal femoral metaphysis (27 mGy per day per injected activity of 37 kBq kg-1), whereas periosteal bone surfaces showed levels of 65 mGy per day in all bone regions. One year later the normalized dose rates on the surfaces decreased to 10 or 15 mGy per day. After 1 year the cumulative doses in the 0-10 microns marrow layer on the endosteal bone surfaces were 8 (52 kBq kg-1, young), 2.1 (5.2 kBq kg-1, adult) and 8.7 Gy (26 kBq kg-1, adult). The microdosimetric findings were compared with the macroscopical doses of the whole skeleton.