Relatively little information is available on the local factors that regulate folliculogenesis in goats. To examine the possibility that the Kit ligand (KL) system is expressed throughout the folliculogenesis, we studied the presence and distribution of KL and its receptor, c-Kit, in goat ovaries. Ovaries of goats were collected and either fixed in paraformaldehyde for immunohistochemical localization of KL and c-Kit proteins, or used for the isolation of follicles, luteal cells, surface epithelium and medullary samples to study mRNA expression for KL and c-Kit, using the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). KL protein and mRNA were found in follicles at all stages of development, i.e. primordial, primary, secondary, small and large antral follicles, as well as in corpora lutea, surface epithelium and medullary tissue. Antral follicles expressed both KL-1 and KL-2 mRNAs, while earlier staged follicles expressed KL-1 transcript only. KL protein was demonstrated in granulosa cells from the primordial follicle onward. Its mRNA could be detected in granulosa cells isolated from antral follicles and occasionally in their theca cells. c-Kit mRNA was expressed in all antral follicular compartments and at all stages of follicular development. c-Kit protein was predominantly found in oocytes from the primordial follicle stage onwards, in theca cells of antral follicles, as well as in corpora lutea, surface epithelium and medullary tissue, particularly in the wall of blood vessels, which may indicate these cells as the main sites of action of KL. It is concluded that the KL/c-Kit system, in goat ovaries, is widespread and that it may be involved in the regulation of various local processes, including folliculogenesis and luteal activity.