αB-Crystallin is constitutively expressed in a variety of tissues including the nervous system, the eye, heart and striated muscles and the kidney. The functional significance of the protein in the different cell populations is not yet known. Experimental data indicate that mechanical stress to the cells might play a role but that there is also a close correlation with markers of oxidative activity. Increased expression of αB-crystallin is seen in a number of age-related degenerative diseases. Whether aging per se induces expression of the protein has not been investigated yet. In this study tissue samples of the anterior eye segment, optic nerve, heart muscle and thyroid gland from mouse, rat, pig, cow and human donors of different age groups were investigated with immunohistochemical methods. αB-Crystallin levels in heart muscle and optic nerve samples from different species and different age groups were investigated using protein immunoblotting (dot blot) and the mRNA levels using semiquantitative PCR methods. The results showed that neither in heart muscle known to show constitutively high amounts of the protein nor in nonlenticular eye tissues with variations in staining intensity of different cell populations or in glandular cells studied for the first time, there were significant age-related staining differences. Dot blot methods as a quantitative evaluation method gave similar results. There were, however, species differences. In the eye these differences could be due to functional differences related to the development of a fovea centralis and an accommodative system in primates. In addition, in all mouse tissues there was less protein expression than in the other species. Differences in the absolute life span might be a factor involved in αB-crystallin expression. In summary the findings show that an increase in αB-crystallin with age may occur but is not a general phenomenon in tissues constitutively expressing this protein.