The expression of α<sub>2</sub>; α<sub>3</sub>; α<sub>5</sub>; α<sub>6</sub>-subunits of the β<sub>1</sub> [very late activation (VLA)] integrin family was studied in kidney specimens using an immunofluorescent technique. 6 specimens from normal kidney were compared with 10 specimens from patients affected by various glomerulopathies [minimal change nephropathy (MCN), membranous nephropathy (MN) and systemic lupus erythematosus nephritis (SLEN)]. On normal glomeruli, α<sub>3</sub> was the dominant integrin, being mainly present on podocytes and showing a linear fluorescent pattern codistributed with laminin. In MCN and SLEN, α<sub>3</sub> presented a normal pattern. In MN, α<sub>3</sub> revealed a trabecular picture on thickened glomerular basement membranes. Moreover, in stage-Ill MN, a segmental loss of α<sub>3</sub>-integrin was detected. In our opinion, VLA-3 may offer an interesting approach to the study of the relationships between podocytes and their substrate.