Normal pituitaries, pituitaries showing CHC and selected adenomas were assessed for their possible content of intermediate filaments (IF), using immunohistochemical techniques. Normal pituitaries were stained for each of the five known IF (Cytokeratins (CK), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), desmin, vimentin, and neurofilaments (NF)). Desmin could not be demonstrated, and NF staining was limited to processes in the posterior gland. In serial sections, CK was demonstrated in some corticotrophs, somatotrophs, and lactotrophs. Vimentin was limited to processes in the posterior gland. Folliculo-stellate cells (FSC), demonstrated by staining for SlOO protein, exhibited a small subpopulation staining for CK, and another subpopulation staining for GFAP. GFAP was also demonstrated in glial processes in the posterior gland. Cells showing Crooke's hyaline change stained intensely for CK. Null cell adenomas did not stain for CK. Corticotroph adenomas, somatotroph adenomas, with or without fibrous bodies, and lactotroph adenomas contain CK-immunoreactive cells. We conclude that CK is the major IF present in the anterior pituitary gland, within some normal corticotrophs, somatotrophs and lactotrophs, and also in adenomas derived from these cells.