Neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) mediates homophilic adhesion between cells and heterophilic adhesion between cells and extracellular matrix in a Ca2+-independent manner. N-CAM is widely expressed during development and plays a crucial role in cell division, migration, and differentiation, but its expression is restricted in adults. The distribution of N-CAM immunoreactivity in adult rat tissues was investigated in the present study. N-CAM immunoreactivity was present in the nervous system in the molecular layer of the cerebellum, ependymal cells surrounding the central canal, axons of the white matter, and in Lamina X of the gray matter of the spinal cord. N-CAM immunoreactivity also was found in autonomic nerves. In the digestive system, N-CAM immunoreactivity was found in the stratified squamous epithelium and nerve plexus of the esophagus, glandular cells of the stomach and pylorus, lamina propria, and epithelium of the villi of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. N-CAM immunoreactivity was demonstrated in the secretory cells of the adenohypophysis, islets of Langerhans, and acinar cells of the exocrine pancreas. Alveolar cells of the lung were also N-CAM immunoreactive. In the urinary system, N-CAM immunoreactivity was seen in the proximal convoluted tubules of the kidney. In the male reproductive system, N-CAM immunoreactivity was demonstrated in the nerve plexus around the urethral epithelium and in the nerve fibers around the smooth muscle cells of the corpus cavernosum penis. In the visual system, N-CAM immunoreactivity was seen in the epithelial cells of the corpus ciliaris. Cornea and lens epithelium also showed positive immunoreactivity. Our results suggest that cells in many tissues and organs of the adult rat synthesize N-CAM.