Two peptides corresponding to amino acid residues 351–368 of the a-subunits of Torpedo and human acetylcholine receptor (AChR) were synthesized. These peptides contain a segment (residues 355–364) which displays the greatest variability in amino acid sequence between the two species. Antibodies elicited against the two peptides cross-reacted with the respective native AChRs and were shown to be species specific by radioimmunoassay, immunoblotting, and immunofluorescence microscopy. Thus, antibodies against the Torpedo peptide cross-reacted with Torpedo AChR but did not bind to mammalian or chicken AChR. Antibodies against the human peptide proved to be specific probes for mammalian muscle AChR. They cross-reacted with mammalian AChR (human, calf, mouse, and rat) but not with Torpedo or chicken AChR. These antibodies were also shown to react preferentially with the the extrajunctional form of muscle AChR, as compared to their reactivity with junctional muscle AChR. In immunofluorescence experiments, the anti-human peptide antibody stained AChR aggregates in sectioned or ethanol-permeabilized rat and mouse myotubes grown in culture but did not stain living myotubes. This indicates that the sequence 351–368 of the a-subunit of mammalian AChR is on the cytoplasmic face of muscle cell membranes, as predicted theoretically.