Endogenous opioid peptides have been implicated in the control of copulatory behavior of the male rat. In order to assess the possible role of opioids in modulation of sexual receptivity in the female rat, lordosis behavior of ovariectomized (OVX) steroid-primed rats was tested after administration of beta-endorphin (B-END) or naloxone (NAL). Lordosis-to-mount ratio (L/M) of estrogen (E) - and progesterone (P) -primed rats was suppressed 15 and 45 minutes after intraventricular infusion of 100 ng B-END. This suppressive effect was blocked by subcutaneous injections of NAL (2 mg/kg). NAL alone, however, failed to enhance L/M in E-primed rats when administered in subcutaneous doses of 2 or 40 mg/kg. Thus, B-END is capable of suppressing lordotic responsiveness, but endogenous B-END does not appear to tonically suppress responsiveness in the E-primed rat.