Immunostaining in transgenic mice carrying the lac z gene can be used to map gene and protein distribution in a single tissue. In this study, we examined inner ears from ephrin-B3 homozygous and ephrin-B2 heterozygous mice. Ephrin-B3 lac z expression was limited in these mice. However, immunostaining revealed ephrin-B3 throughout cochlear and vestibular regions. Immunoreactivity was absent in ephrin-B3-homozygous null mutants, demonstrating the specificity of the antibody. Ephrin-B2 lac z reactivity was detected in a limited number of cells in cochlear and vestibular regions. Different immunostaining patterns were found with different antibodies. Comparison with lac z expression indicated which antibody was specific for the transmembrane-bound ephrin-B2 ligand.