The extracellular matrix is a dynamic space and a prerequisite for the function of cardiomyocytes. We have previously reported on the distribution of the glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan (HYA) and its cellular receptor CD44 in the vascular system. In newborn rats, HYA and its receptor were colocalized, but in the adult animals, no such colocalization was observed. Furthermore, the distribution of both HYA and CD44 differed between newborn and adult animals. In this study, the distribution of HYA and its receptor CD44 is explored in the heart. Hearts from newborn and adult rats were stained for visualization of HYA and CD44 using histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. HYA stained the interstitium of the myocardium heterogeneously. Strong staining was seen in the heart valves of both newborn and adult animals. CD44 staining was sparse in hearts from both newborn and adult animals. There are no major changes in the distribution of HYA in the myocardium during the postnatal development in contrast to the blood vessels. Thus, the structure of the interstitium does not change after birth when the heart starts to grow mainly through cardiomyocyte hypertrophy rather than hyperplasia. The abundance of HYA in the heart valves is probably related to their unique physiological properties to withstand repetitive mechanical stress. Anat Rec Part A 288A:587–592, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.