Two monoclonal antibodies against fixative-modified taurine, Tau1 and Tau2, were produced, characterized, and used in the present study to analyze the distribution of taurine in the cerebellum of the rat. In addition, immunohistochemical colocalization experiments were performed to determine whether cerebellar neurons contain both taurine and its synthesizing enzyme, cysteine sulfinic acid decarboxylase (CSADC). In ELISAs, both Tau1 and Tau2 displayed high affinities for taurine conjugated to various carrier proteins and possessed some cross-reactivity for other amino acids which are present in lower concentrations in the brain than taurine. Tau2 was found to recognize only taurine and hypotaurine when paraformaldehyde was used to fix the amino acids to carrier proteins. With the use of glutaraldehyde fixation, Tau1 cross-reacted with conjugates of beta-alanine and hypotaurine and Tau2 cross-reacted strongly with conjugates of cysteic acid and hypotaurine and weakly with cysteine sulfinic acid. Despite different cross-reactivities, Tau1 and Tau2 exhibited almost identical patterns of neuronal staining in bands of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. Staining of Purkinje cell dendrites was more prominent than staining of the soma. Light immunoreactivity was present in Golgi, stellate, and basket cells. A scattered population of granule cells displayed taurine-like immunoreactivity at the electron microscopic level. Immunostaining was identified in some terminals in the Purkinje cell layer and in a limited number of mossy fibers. Tau2-like immunoreactivity was colocalized with CSADC-like immunoreactivity in the cerebellar neurons described above. These immunoreactive cells may represent a subpopulation of neurons that contain a higher concentration of taurine than neighboring cells due to their ability to synthesize taurine. The intense immunoreactive staining of Purkinje cell dendrites provides support for the hypothesis that calcium-dependent release of taurine in the cerebellum may originate primarily from dendritic rather than synaptic processes and suggests a neuromodulator role for taurine in the cerebellum.