Summary. The immunolocalization of phospholipids has not yet been clearly demonstrated in temporomandibular joints (TMJs). We have examined the distribution of one of phospholipids, phosphatidyl-choline (PC), in the rat mandibular condylar surface and lower joint cavity. Some fresh resected TMJs with their disks attached were immediately plunged into isopentane-propane cryogen (-193 °C). Cryostat sections were cut, mounted on NH3+-coated slides, and fixed with paraformaldehyde (PF). Cryosections were first immunostained with anti-mouse PC antibody (JE-1). Subsequently, they were labeled with immunogold particles following silver enhancing for light microscopic analyses. Some cryosections were subjected to double immunofluoresecence labeling with anti-fibronectin antibody or hyaluronic acid-binding protein in combination with the anti-PC antibody. As an immunocontrol, other cryosections were pretreated with phospholipase A2 before such immunofluorescence labeling. We have confirmed the presence of PC in the lower joint cavity of rat TMJs as well as on the mandibular condylar surface layer, which was colocalized with hyaluronic acid and fibronectin respectively. However, by treatment with phospholipase A2, such immunolabeling for PC was clearly decreased, showing that the PC is a component in the rat in vivo TMJ. These findings suggest that PC, hyaluronic acid and fibronectin may interact each other in the TMJ articular surface areas to play a functional role for lubrication in TMJ.