A novel peptide hormone, atrial natriuretic factor/cardiodilatin (ANP/CDD), was recently isolated and characterized from mammalian heart. Its presence has been demonstrated in several organs that contribute to water and sodium homeostasis, such as salivary glands. This study demonstrates the presence of ANP/CDD immunoreactivity in the salt gland of Pekin ducks by high performance liquid chromatography, radioimmunoassay and immunocytochemistry, using a specific antibody against atriopeptide I. A small number of distinct, ovoid or cuboid shaped ANP/CDD-immunoreactive cells were localized in the connective tissue surrounding and separating the central secretory tubules, whereas no immunostaining was observed in the peripheral tubules. Salt glands of ducks that were adapted to salt water revealed a significant hypertrophy of their secretory lobules. However, no differences were found between the number or localization of immunoreactive cells in the salt gland of salt water-acclimatized ducks and non-stimulated glands of ducks that were housed with ad libitum access to fresh water. Our results indicate that ANP/CDD may play a role in the regulation of sodium secretion in the salt gland of aquatic birds.