Peptides can be transported across the blood-brain barrier by saturable transport systems. One system, characterized with radioactively labeled Tyr-MIF-1 (Tyr-Pro-Leu-Gly-amide), is specific for some of the small peptides with an N-terminal tyrosine, including Tyr-MIF-1, the enkephalins, beta-casomorphin, and dynorphin (1-8). Another separate system transports vasopressin-like peptides. The choroid plexus has at least one system distinguishable from those above that is capable of uptake and possibly transport of opiate-like peptides. The possibility of saturable transport of other peptides has been investigated to a varying degree. Specificity, stereo-specificity, saturability, allosteric regulation, modulation by physiologic and pharmacologic manipulations, and noncompetitive inhibition have been demonstrated to occur in peptide transport systems and suggest a role for them in physiology and disease.