Using autoradiography, 'peripheral type' or cholecystokinin-A (CCK-A) receptor binding was measured in the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN) of rats which had received electrolytic lesions of the habenular nucleus. Presynaptic GABAB receptor binding was also determined in the IPN in order to verify the loss of input to the nucleus. In animals which showed almost total loss of GABAB receptors. 125I-Bolton Hunter CCK binding in the IPN was reduced from 1.83 +/- 0.28 pmol/g wet weight to 0.87 +/- 0.16 pmol/g wet weight. This was not significantly different from non-specific levels, determined in the same region using 10(-7) M L-365,031 (0.97 +/- 0.14 pmol/g wet weight). These data suggest that CCK-A receptors in rat IPN are localized on presynaptic terminals within the nucleus.