The NOD-like receptors (NLRs) were recently identified as an intracellular pathogen recognition receptor family in vertebrates. While the immune system participation of NLRs has been characterized and analyzed in various mammalian models, few studies have considered NLRs in teleost species. Therefore, this study analyzed the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) NLRC5. Structurally, Atlantic salmon NLRC5 presented leucine-rich repeat subfamily genes. Phylogenetically, NLRC5 was moderately conserved between S. salar and other species. Real-time quantitative PCR revealed NLRC5 expression in almost all analyzed organs, with greatest expressions in the head kidney, spleen, and hindgut. Furthermore, NLRC5 gene expression decreased during smolt stage. These data suggest that NLRC5 participates in the Atlantic salmon immune response and is regulated, at least partly, by the smoltification process, suggesting that there is a depression of immune system from parr at smolt stage. This is the first report on the NLRC5 gene in salmonid smolts.