A panel of monoclonal antibodies specific for a family of voltage-dependent, fast-activating K+ channels, raised against alpha-dendrotoxin acceptors purified from bovine brain, were used to probe the distribution of these important proteins in rat cerebellum. All the antibodies reacted with their antigens in the folial white matter, the granular cell layer and the basket cell nerve termini within the Purkinje cell layer. However, a very intense staining pattern was exhibited by only one monoclonal that reacts exclusively with Kv 1.2 alpha subunit, the predominant isoform present in alpha-dendrotoxin sensitive K+ channels. Double-labelling procedures with neuronal and glial markers were used to verify this discrete antibody staining of the basket cell terminals that synapse with the base of Purkinje cell bodies in a readily recognizable and characteristic fashion. This is the first direct demonstration, using a monoclonal antibody, of a presynaptic location for a voltage-activated K+ channel; its discrete distribution in the basket cell pinceau suggests that it could control release of the inhibitory transmitter GABA and, thereby, influence excitability of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum.