A pre-embedding double immunostaining technique was used to study the synaptic relationships between orexin-like immunoreactive axon terminals and preopiomelanocortin (POMC)-like immunoreactive neurons in the rat arcuate nucleus. Most of the synapses were axo-dendritic, while some axo-somatic synapses were also found. Both the axo-somatic and axodendritic synapses were symmetrical. In some cases the presynaptic orexin-like immunoreactive axon terminals contained a few large dense-cored vesicles. The results suggest that the orexinergic axon terminals in the arcuate nucleus may play an important role in the regulation of food intake via synapses through POMC neurons.