Serotonin immunoreactive material was localized to rat enterochromaffin cells (EC cells) at the subcellular level using antibodies to serotonin (5-HT) raised in rabbits. Ultrathin sections from paraformaldehyde fixed plastic embedded tissues were directly labelled with the 5-HT antiserum, using the protein A-gold technique to visualize the immunoreaction. The 5-HT immunoreactivity (5-HT-IR) in the rat gastrointestinal mucosa was exclusively localized to epithelial EC cells with a low background over other epithelial non-enterochromaffin cells. Quantitative evaluation of the immunoreaction revealed that most of the 5-HT-IR in the cytoplasm of EC cells (60%) was located over the dense cores of the secretory granules. However, a significant part of the cytoplasmic 5-HT-IR (40%) was located outside the dense cores of the secretory granules which suggests that different forms of 5-HT storage may exist.