A sensitive and highly reproducible method has been used to show that Aquaporin 3 (AQP(3)) mRNA is present in the ovine placenta and chorion from at least 60 days of gestation (term=145-150d) with levels increasing substantially (>16 fold) at 100 days, and remaining constant thereafter. By immuno- and hybridization histochemistry, the epithelial cells expressing AQP(3)were found to be the trophoblast cells. Some AQP(3)was expressed in fibroblasts of the amnion and allantois but none was expressed in the epithelia of these membranes. AQP(1)was expressed in endothelial cells of fetal and maternal blood vessels but not in any epithelial cell of the ovine placenta and fetal membranes. The level of AQP(3)expression is consistent with known ovine placental permeabilities to water, glycerol and urea.