Temporal changes in the level of expression of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)(A) receptor subunits alpha2, alpha5, beta1 and beta3 were characterized by Western blot analysis in the hamster suprachiasmatic nuclei, retina and median eminence. A nocturnal maximum in the level of GABA(A) receptor beta1 subunit at midday and midnight (12:00 and 00.00 h) was found in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the retina and the median eminence of Syrian hamsters. Alpha2 and beta3 subunit levels peaked during the day in the median eminence. Finally, retinal alpha5 levels were maximal during the night. beta1 temporal changes in the SCN and median eminence, as well as alpha2 variations in the median eminence were maintained under constant dark conditions, suggesting an endogenous control, while the other variations were only observed under light-dark cycle conditions.