Research addressing the in vivo effects of T cell activation by lipids, glycolipids, and lipopeptides is hampered by the absence of a suitable animal model. Mice and rats do not express CD1a, CD1b, and CD1c molecules that present pathogen-derived lipid antigens in humans. In cattle, two CD1A and three CD1B genes are transcribed. The proteins encoded by these genes differ in their antigen binding domains and in their cytoplasmic tails, suggesting that they may traffic differently in the cell and thus have access to different antigens. In the current study, we describe the genomic organization of the bovine CD1 locus and transcription of bovine CD1 genes in freshly isolated dendritic cells and B cells from different tissues. After determining the specificity of previously only partly characterized anti-CD1 antibodies by testing recombinant single chain bovine CD1 proteins and CD1-transfected cells, we were able to determine cell surface protein expression on freshly isolated cells. Our study suggests that CD1b1 and CD1b3 are more broadly expressed than CD1b5, and CD1a2 is more broadly expressed than CD1a1. Pseudoafferent lymph dendritic cells express CD1B genes, but no transcription is detected in lymph nodes. Even though B cells transcribe CD1B genes, there is no evidence of protein expression at the cell surface. Thus, patterns of CD1 protein expression are largely conserved among species.