Thymic stromal derived lymphopoietin receptor (TSLPR) is a novel receptor subunit that is related in sequence to the interleukin (IL)-2 receptor common gamma chain. TSLPR forms a heterodimeric complex with the IL-7 receptor alpha chain to form the receptor for thymic stromal derived lymphopoietin, a cytokine involved in B- and T-cell function. We have cloned the TSLP receptor from rat and find that the WSXWX motif commonly found in extracellular domains of cytokine receptors is conserved as a W(T/S)XV(T/A) motif among TSLP receptors from mouse, rat and human. As in the mouse, TSLP receptor is widely expressed in rats suggesting that TSLPR may have roles in signaling outside the hematopoietic system. A zooblot analysis revealed that TSLPR is expressed in all vertebrate species examined. The absence of TSLPR in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans genomes is similar to the expression of several other cytokine receptors that have been characterized thus far. We have also characterized the genomic structure of the murine Tslpr gene which shows that in addition to primary sequence homology, it shares a common genomic organization of coding exons with the murine IL-2 receptor common gamma chain (Il2rg). Use of an alternative splice acceptor site leads to two alternatively spliced transcript variants of murine TSLPR, both of which are functional receptors. Finally, using linkage analysis, we mapped the murine Tslpr gene to mouse chromosome 5 between the Ecm2 and Pxn genes.