Distribution of the monocarboxylate transporter MCT1 has been investigated in the cortex of normal adult human brain. Similarly to the glucose transporter GLUT1 55 kDa isoform, MCT1 was found to be strongly expressed on blood vessels in all cortical layers. In addition, laminar analysis revealed intense MCT1 expression in the neuropil of layer IV in primary auditory (AI) and visual (VI) areas, while this expression was more homogeneous in the non-primary auditory area STA. The cellular distribution shows that MCT1 is strongly expressed by glial cells often associated with blood vessels that were identified as astrocytes. The observed distribution of MCT1 supports the concept that, under certain circumstances, monocarboxylates could be provided as energy substrates to the adult human brain. Moreover, the distinct laminar pattern of MCT1 expression between primary and non-primary cortical areas may reflect different types of neuronal activity requiring adequate supply of specific energy substrates.