The distribution and relative specificity of cholecystokinin (CCK) receptors in the rat brain was mapped by in vitro autoradiography with [125I]CCK-33. We identified two distinct binding patterns, suggesting two CCK receptor types. The first is widespread and relatively non-specific. The second, localized to a few subcortical nuclei, has the specificity demonstrated for pancreatic CCK receptors. Localization of this receptor type to the area postrema provides a possible entry site into brain for circulating CCK that would distinguish between CCK and gastrin and could mediate some of CCK's behavioral effects.