IGFs and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) are thought to play important roles in ovarian follicular growth and selection. To elucidate the role of IGFBPs in primate ovarian function, we analyzed IGFBP mRNA expression patterns in ovaries from mid-cycle rhesus monkeys using in situ hybridization. IGFBP-1 mRNA was concentrated in theca-interstitial cells and was present at low levels in granulosa cells of atretic follicles. IGFBP-2 mRNA was expressed in the ovarian surface epithelium and granulosa cells of all antral follicles, including obviously atretic as well as dominant follicles. IGFBP-3 mRNA was localized in oocytes and in the ovarian vascular endothelium; this mRNA was also concentrated in the superficial cortical stroma in which it was distinctly more abundant in the nondominant ovary. Granulosa cells of mature dominant and ovulatory follicles selectively expressed IGFBP-5 mRNA. IGFBP-5 mRNA was also widely expressed in the ovarian stroma, in which, in contrast to IGFBP-3, it was distinctly more abundant in dominant, compared with nondominant, ovary. IGFBP-6 mRNA was present at low levels in the ovary interstitium and theca externa and was more abundant in the ovary surface epithelium. These novel data reveal distinctive cellular expression patterns for IGFBPs 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 in the nonhuman primate ovary, suggesting distinct roles for each binding protein in ovarian function.