Two radioiodinated derivatives of forskolin, [125I]6-IHPP-Fsk and [125I]7-IHPP-Fsk, were synthesized as specific ligands for adenylyl cyclase and glucose transporter, respectively. [125I]6-IHPP-Fsk bound to bovine brain homogenates with a Kd of 9 nM and binding was inhibited by forskolin but not 1,9-dideoxyforskolin, cytochalasin B, or D-glucose. [125I]7-IHPP-Fsk bound to bovine brain homogenates at two classes of binding sites with Kd's of 56 nM and 4.7 microM; cytochalasin B and D-glucose inhibited 75% of the high affinity binding while having no effect on the low affinity binding. [125I]6-IHPP-Fsk and [125I]7-IHPP-Fsk were used to localize adenylyl cyclase and glucose transporter in rat brain by receptor autoradiography. The pattern of binding obtained with [125I]6-IHPP-Fsk was similar to that observed using [3H]forskolin to detect adenylyl cyclase. In contrast, the pattern of binding obtained with [125I]7-IHPP-Fsk was similar to that observed by others using [3H]cytochalasin B to detect glucose transporter. These iodinated ligands are selective for adenylyl cyclase and glucose transporter and require significantly shorter exposure times to yield autoradiographs than tritiated ligands.