The rat dentate gyrus was examined with the Golgi method. Cell counts were performed in Nissl-stained serial sections. The number of granule cells was 635,000 +/- 33,000. The number of basket cells in the granular layer was 3600 +/- 570. In whole dentate gyrus, the average ratio between granule and basket cells was 160-220:1. The ratio was higher in the caudal part of the dorsal and ventral blades and significantly less basket cells were found in the ventral than in the dorsal blade of dentate gyrus. 60% of all the basket cells were found at the margin between the granular layer and hilus, 35% were found in the lower half of molecular layer and 5% within the granular layer. Five types of basket cells were differentiated in Golgi sections on the basis of their location and cell morphology. The granule cells in their early development stages sent dendrites in every direction even in the hilus, but the developed granule cells never had basal dendrites. Spines were seen on the 5 days old granule cell dendrites, but the spine density was found to grow until adulthood. As a rule several axon collaterals could be seen on the granule cell axons. The whole length of granule cell dendrites totaled 2400 micron +/- 331, those of the basket cell dendrites totaled 1100 micron +/- 144. The possible role of basket cells in the regulation of the dentate gyrus granular layer was considered.