Benzodiazepines exhibit reversible, stereospecific high affinity binding to mammalian brain membranes, and the respective binding sites for 3H-flunitrazepam represent pharmacologically and clinically relevant receptors for benzodiazepines. Recently it has been demonstrated that reversibly bound 3H-flunitrazepam becomes irreversibly attached to a specific membrane protein with apparent molecular weight of 50,000 when incubations are performed in the presence of UV light. Irreversible binding of 3H-flunitrazepam to this protein had pharmacological properties similar to reversible benzodiazepine receptor binding, indicating that 3H-flunitrazepam is a photoaffinity label for the benzodiazepine receptor. Using irreversible binding of 3H-flunitrazepam and subsequent electrophoretic separation of the labelled proteins in SDS-gels followed by fluorography, we found that in hippocampus and several other brain regions at least two different types of benzodiazepine receptors exist. Each seems to be associated with a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor.