Progesterone-associated endometrial protein (PAEP) has been isolated from human decidualized endometrium. In-situ hybridization histochemistry was employed to determine the cellular localization of PAEP mRNA in decidua during pregnancy. PAEP mRNA was found to be expressed in the glandular epithelium of decidua spongiosa throughout pregnancy. Substantial variations in the amount of PAEP mRNA during the course of pregnancy were observed, and it was most abundant at the end of the first trimester. We also found that the PAEP gene was expressed in endometriosis and in a borderline endometrioid adenoma. As in decidual tissues, PAEP mRNA in endometriosis was abundant in the glandular compartment.