Protein C inhibitor (PCI) is a serpin that inhibits a number of proteases. PCI is found in urine and binds to kidney epithelial cells. To determine if kidney is a source of PCI, cDNA was produced from human kidney total RNA. Sequencing and restriction mapping showed identity between kidney and liver PCI cDNA sequences. Similar cDNAs were obtained from rhesus monkey kidney and liver RNAs. Conditioned medium from the rhesus monkey kidney cell line CCL7.1 was analyzed on immunoblots, showing a 57,000-D protein band that comigrated with human plasma PCI. Immunohistochemical staining and in situ hybridization of human kidney tissue sections showed that kidney PCI antigen and RNA were confined to tubular cells. The findings are consistent with the idea that PCI is synthesized and localized in kidney tissue where it may provide protease inhibitory activity and suggest that complexes of PCI with urokinase found in human urine may be produced locally in the kidney.