Various serotonergic agents may reduce aggression in rats, but how they act in different parts of the brain is unknown. This study attempted to unravel part of this question by application of different serotonergic ligands into the lateral ventricle (i.c.v.) of male rats (resident-intruder aggression). 8-OH-DPAT (8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin; 1 and 10 micrograms), a specific 5-HT1A agonist, affected neither aggression nor any other behaviour. The mixed 5-HT1A,B,C agonist, TFMPP (1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine hydrochloride), and the 5-HT1A/1B agonist, eltoprazine ((1-(2,3)-dihydro-1,4-benzodioxin-5-yl)piperazine hydrochloride), suppressed aggression at i.c.v. doses of 10 and 30 micrograms. This reduction was not caused by sedation. These data suggest a role of postsynaptic 5-HT1B receptors in mediating the anti-aggressive effects of mixed 5-HT1 agonists.