We examined the distribution and possible origins of pseudocholinesterase activity within the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the tree shrew. Butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) activity was spread diffusely throughout the LGN and not localized to neuronal perikaryon. Lesions of the LGN eliminated this BuChE activity while not affecting acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity; however, removal of retinal input by unilateral ocular enucleations failed to affect the BuChE activity within the denervated layers of the LGN. This lack of effect suggests that, unlike the macaque monkey, retinal terminals within the LGN of tree shrew are not the source of BuChE. Thus, in the tree shrew LGN it appears that BuChE is not metabolically related to or dependent upon AChE nor does it originate from retinal sources, but rather BuChE appears to represent an enzyme that is endogenous to the LGN.