We investigated the effect of food intake on the serotonin and dopamine levels of the CNS as well as on the spontaneous firing activity of the CGC in isolated preparations from starved, feeding and satiated animals. Furthermore we investigated the effects of 1 microM serotonin and/or dopamine and their mixture on the firing activity of the CGC. The HPLC assay of serotonin and dopamine showed that during food intake both the serotonin and dopamine levels of the CNS increased whereas in satiated animals their levels were not significantly more than the control levels. Recording from the CGC in isolated CNS preparation from starved, feeding or satiated animals showed that feeding increased the firing frequency of the CGC compared to the starved control. The application of 1 microM dopamine decreased the firing frequency whereas the application of 1 microM serotonin increased the firing frequency of the CGC. We conclude that during food intake the external and internal food stimuli increase the activity of the central monoaminergic system and also increase the levels of monoamines in the CNS. Furthermore, we also suggest that the increased dopamine and serotonin levels both affect the activity of the serotonergic neurons during the different phases of feeding.