Abstract: The role of vacuolar type H+-ATPases (v-ATPases) and pH gradient between the endocytic compartments and cytoplasm in the endocytosis of horseradish peroxidase, a mannose-terminated glycoprotein, was investigated morphologically in isolated rat sinusoidal endothelial cells. Toward this purpose, a specific inhibitor of v-ATPases, bafilomycin A1, was used to inhibit v-ATPases in the vacuolar system. Uptake of horseradish peroxidase was examined by electron microscopy. Fluorescent staining by acridine orange showed that bafilomycin A1 inhibited the acidification of the endocytic compartments. Horseradish peroxidase was taken up via mannose receptors and was distributed in the endocytic structures in the isolated sinusoidal endothelial cells. Uptake of horseradish peroxidase was significantly inhibited by bafilomycin A1, and this finding was confirmed by morphometrical analysis. These results suggest that: a) v-ATPases are necessary for acidification of the endocytic compartments in the sinusoidal endothelial cells and b) the pH gradient between the endocytic compartments and the cytoplasm that is generated by v-ATPases is necessary for the receptor-mediated endocytosis of a mannose-terminated glycoprotein, horseradish peroxidase.