The isothiocyanate group was attached to the 4'-, 5'-, 6'-, or 7'-position of naltrindole in an effort to determine the importance of the position of this electrophilic group on the selectivity for subtypes of delta opioid receptors. All of the ligands were delta-selective when tested against standard agonists in smooth muscle preparations. However, the rank-order delta antagonism of antinociception in mice did not parallel the in vitro pharmacologic data. The 5'-isothiocyanate 2 was the most potent and selective antagonist in vivo, causing a 52-fold increase of the ED50 for [D-Ser2,D-Leu5]enkephalin-Thr6 (DSLET) and no increase for [D-Pen2,D-Pen5]enkephalin (DPDPE). The effect of each of the ligands on the binding of [3H]DSLET and [3H]DPDPE to guinea pig brain membranes clearly differentiated between the binding sites that recognize these radioligands. These studies provide additional evidence for the presence of two subtypes of delta opioid receptors.