After one week treatment with caffeine (20 mg/kg i.p.) the number of adenosine receptors, as determined by specific binding of (3H)-L-PIA, in rat cerebral cortical membranes was increased by about 25%. Cyclic AMP accumulation induced by adenosine analogues in slices of rat hippocampus was unaffected by caffeine treatment. The inhibition of lipolysis in rat fat cells by 2-chloro-adenosine was similarly unaffected. The potency of caffeine as an antagonist of these adenosine-receptor mediated effects was not altered by caffeine treatment. It is concluded that at least some adenosine receptors are up-regulated as a consequence of prolonged caffeine treatment, but that the increase in receptor number is not related to changes in at least two effects of adenosine and caffeine.