Previous immunohistochemical data have shown that the 44-kDal bone phosphoprotein (44K BPP, also called sialoprotein I or oestopontin) recently isolated in our laboratory was synthesized by osteoblasts and osteocytes and was expressed early during differentiation of boneforming cells. We report here the presence of 44K BPP antigenicity at certain ectopic sites, namely, the proximal-convoluted tubule of the kidney, neurons, sensory and secretory cells in the internal ear. To insure specificity and reproducibility, different immunohistochemical methods were used and affinity-purified antibodies against two separate preparations of pure 44K BPP were tested. In the cells of the proximal-convoluted tubule, 44K BPP immunoreactivity was observed within apical endocytotic vacuoles and within lysosomes. This staining thus correlates with the degradation of the 44K BPP epitope which we previously demonstrated to occur in serum. On the other hand, in the neurons of the acoustic ganglion and the sensory cells of the macula, 44K BPP immunoreactivity was associated with the Golgi apparatus indicating synthesis and secretion by these cells. The finding that the 44K BPP (or a structurally related molecule) is synthesized by neurons and neuroepithelial cells deserves further investigation with respect to a possible embryologie relationship between neuroectodermal cells and the precursors of some bone forming-cells of the skull. © 1988 Springer-Verlag.