Lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) is a biologically active lipid that produces a number of responses in cultured cells, and has been suggested to have neuroprotective properties in vivo. Some of the actions of LPI are mediated by G-protein coupled receptors, but it is not known whether G-protein coupled receptor-mediated responses can be seen in intact brain tissue. In consequence, in the present study, we investigated autoradiographically whether LPI increased the [(35)S]GTPγS binding level in brain tissue slices. In standard assay conditions, where as a positive control a robust response to cannabinoid receptor activation by the agonist ligand CP55,940 was seen, there was no increase in the autoradiographic density over basal produced by LPI. However, when the conditions were modified (incubation at 4°C rather than at 25°C, incubation time increased to 3 h, GDP concentration reduced from 2 to 0.1 mM), a significant increase in [(35)S]GTPγS autoradiographic density in response to 10 μM LPI was seen in the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and cortex at the level of the hippocampus, although the degree of increase was small and very variable. No significant increases were seen in the hypothalamus or cerebellum. It is concluded that LPI, in the right conditions, can activate a sufficient number of G-proteins in the rat prefrontal cortex and hippocampus to produce a response in the [(35)S]GTPγS autoradiographic assay of G-protein coupled receptor function.