Serotonin (5-HT) is an intrinsic modulator of neural network excitation states in gastropod molluscs. 5-HT and related indole metabolites were measured in single, well-characterized serotonergic neurons of the feeding motor network of the predatory sea-slug Pleurobranchaea californica. Indole amounts were compared between paired hungry and satiated animals. Levels of 5-HT and its metabolite 5-HT-SO4 in the metacerebral giant neurons were observed in amounts approximately four-fold and two-fold, respectively, below unfed partners 24 h after a satiating meal. Intracellular levels of 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid and of free tryptophan did not differ significantly with hunger state. These data demonstrate that neurotransmitter levels and their metabolites can vary in goal-directed neural networks in a manner that follows internal state.