Hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY) and serotonin (5-HT)-containing neurons are believed to exert an interactive effect on ingestive behavior. The present study examined the ability of two serotonergic antagonists, spiperone (SPIP), a 5-HT2A antagonist, and mianserin (MIAN), a 5-HT(2A/2C) antagonist, to block the inhibitory action of the 5-HT(2A/2C) receptor agonist 1-(2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane (DOI) on NPY-stimulated eating. Drugs were injected directly into the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), the perifornical (PFH) or the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) at the onset of the dark cycle. PVN, PFH and VMH injections of NPY potentiated food intake although only PVN pretreatment with DOI (5-20 nmol) suppressed NPY-induced eating. SPIP or MIAN, injected immediately prior to PVN DOI, reversed the suppressive effect of DOI on NPY feeding. These findings are consistent with other recent data showing that 5-HT2A receptors within the PVN modulate NPY's effect on food intake at the start of the nocturnal period.