Similar to other afferents to rat caudate-putamen, stimulation of the dorsal raphe nucleus evokes a series of 3 responses which can be recorded intracellularly. An initial depolarization is followed by a long-lasting inhibition which is, in turn, terminated by another period of depolarization. Pharmacological manipulations demonstrate that the initial depolarizing potential is serotonergic. Depletion of serotonin by means of prior treatment with para-chlorophenylalanine leads to a reduction in the amplitude of the depolarization which can be evoked by maximal stimulation of dorsal raphe. Neither the long-lasting hyperpolarization nor the late excitation which follow the initial depolarization is affected. Replacement of serotonin in levels by injection of 5-hydroxytryptophan results in a restoration of the amplitude of the depolarizing response. The latency of the initial depolarization is, however, unchanged in serotonin-depleted animals. This together with the observation in some cells of a component of the initial depolarization resistant to para-chlorophenylalanine treatment, suggests that there is a non-serotonergic excitation which precedes that mediated by serotonin.