Phosphoinositide-specific phospholipase C(PLC) is known as a key enzyme which produces two major second messengers: diacylglycerol and inositol 1,4,5 trisphosphate. Although it has been suggested that PLC beta isozymes have important roles in nervous system, less is known about the function of PLC beta in development of nervous system. We have localized the mRNA expressions of PLC beta isozymes in the postnatal rat brains by id firm hybridization histochemistry. In the postnatal rat brains, each isozyme of PLC beta showed differential expression pattern. The expression of PLC beta1 mRNA was found in various areas including olfactory bulb, cerebral cortex, caudate putamen, hippocampus, dentate gyrus, and cerebellum. In general, the expression in these areas was gradually increased after birth (PO) until postnatal day 21 (P2l) and slightly decreased to adult level. The expression of PLC beta2 mRNA was not found in postnatal rat brains. The expression of PLC beta3 mRNA was found from P0, peaked at Pl4, and decreased to adult level in the purkinje cells of cerebellum. PLC beta4 mRNA was strongly expressed in the thalamus, cerebellum, cerebral cortex, and olfactory bulb. In these areas, the expression was gradually increased after birth, peaked at P2l, and decreased to adult level. In whole body parasagittal sections of 18 day old rat embryo, PLC betal mRNA was exclusively expressed in nervous tissue, PLC beta3 and PLC beta4 were expressed in various tissues, and the expression of PLC beta2 was not found in any kind of rat tissues. From the different spatiotemporal mRNA expression patterns of PLC beta isozymes in the postnatal rat brains, it is suspected that each PLC beta isozyme may have specific role in signal transduction for postnatal development of rat brain.