To determine hypophysiotrophic thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)-producing neurons in the rat hypothalamus, we employed a combination of the immunohistochemistry for TRH prohormone (pro-TRH) and the retrograde tracing of neurons that project to the median eminence (ME) by injecting biotinylated wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) into the ME. In intact rats, immunoreactive pro-TRH-positive neurons occurred in the parvicellular paraventricular nucleus (parvi-PVN), basal part of the anterior and lateral hypothalamus, perifornical area and dorsomedial nucleus, especially accumulating in the parvi-PVN. Twenty-four hours after injection of the WGA into the middle portion of the ME, we found neurons that incorporated the lectin in the anterior periventricular area, the PVN, and the arcuate nucleus. When we examined serial sections consecutively stained with anti-WGA, anti-pro-TRH, and anti-WGA, most of the pro-TRH-labeled neurons in the medial parvi-PVN and a part of the neurons in the anterior periventricular area and in the anterior, lateral, and dorsal parvi-PVN appeared to incorporate WGA. These neurons may correspond with the hypophysiotrophic TRH-synthesizing neurons in the rat hypothalamus.