Ciclesonide, a new corticosteroid for allergic rhinitis, is administered as an inactive parent compound that is converted by esterases to the pharmacologically active metabolite, desisobutyryl-ciclesonide (des-CIC). This study investigated the in vitro activation of ciclesonide in nasal mucosa of multiple animal species. Nasal mucosal homogenates from rats, guinea-pigs, rabbits and dogs were incubated with ciclesonide 0.5 μmol/l (0.271 μg/ml) or 5 μmol/l (2.71 μg/ml) for up to 120 min. Concentrations of ciclesonide and des-CIC were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry. Ciclesonide was metabolized to des-CIC in nasal mucosal homogenates of each species. The initial velocities of des-CIC formation ranged from 0.0038 to 0.0150 nmol/min/mg protein and 0.0319 to 0.0983 nmol/min/mg protein in nasal mucosal homogenates incubated with ciclesonide 0.5 μmol/l and 5 μmol/l, respectively. Furthermore, the initial velocities of ciclesonide metabolism ranged from 0.0032 to 0.0142 nmol/min/mg protein and 0.0445 to 0.1316 nmol/min/mg protein in nasal mucosal homogenates incubated with ciclesonide 0.5 μmol/l and 5 μmol/l, respectively. This study confirms that ciclesonide is converted to des-CIC in nasal mucosal homogenates without any marked differences among animal species.