To delineate the vestibular afferent innervation in the vestibular efferent nucleus in the brainstem, neurobiotin or biotinylated dextran amine was injected into the superior Scarpa's ganglion of Sprague-Dawley rats. The locations of vestibular efferent neurons in the brainstem were identified by neutral red or choline acetyltransferase staining. Of the three pairs of vestibular efferent nuclei, labeled fibers and bouton-like endings were found only within the dorsolateral vestibular efferent nucleus on the ipsilateral side. Labeled afferent terminals with bouton-like varicosities were observed in the vicinity of cell bodies or dendrites of these efferent neurons. Our findings suggest that vestibular primary afferents may exert direct influence on vestibular efferent neurons, constituting an ipsilateral close-loop arrangement in the central vestibular system.