Adrenomedullin (AM) is a potent hypotensive peptide recently discovered in extracts of human pheochromocytoma. In this report we present evidence, using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, immunocytochemistry, and in situ reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, that AM is synthesized by several cell populations of the normal lung, tumor cell lines of pulmonary origin, and tumor specimens. Among the normal cell populations of the lung, we found AM expression in the columnar epithelium, some glands, neurons of the pulmonary parasympathetic nervous system, endothelial cells, chondrocytes, alveolar macrophages, and smooth muscle cells. In tumors, AM expression was located in most of the nonsmall cell lung carcinomas and in half of the small cell lung carcinomas studied. These findings suggest that AM may play a broad role in respiratory homeostasis and lung carcinogenesis.