Recent studies have raised the possibility of multiple structurally distinctive tissue-specific nuclear T3 receptors, all exhibiting homology with the v-erbA oncogene and represented by mRNAs of various sizes. We have assayed the level of mRNAs recognized by a32P-labeled cRNA derived from human plancetal c-erbA-Aβ cDNA by solution hybridization and by Northern transfer in different rat tissues, as well as human liver and placenta. Two related mRNAs were demonstrated in the rat tissues analyzed, one measuring 6.0 and the other 2.6 kilobases (kb). In human liver and placenta a 6.0 kb mRNA was seen, but not a 2.6 kb mRNA. Only the 6.0 kb sequence correlated with the receptor concentration determined by125I-T3 displacement analysis.