The neurotoxicity of albumin was studied in the rat. Solutions of rat albumin (3, 10 and 30 mg/ml) essentially free of fatty acids and globulins were injected into one neostriatum, physiological saline into the other. Injections were also performed with sodium glutamate (10 and 30 mM). Both albumin and glutamate produced lesions in a concentration-dependent manner. Thus 3, 10 and 30 mg/ml albumin produced lesions in excess of saline of 22 +/- 24 microns3, 67 +/- 25 microns3 and 170 +/- 44 microns3, (P = 0.82, 0.03 and 0.0005, respectively). 10 and 30 mM sodium glutamate caused lesions of 45 +/- 14 microns3 and 315 +/- 56 microns3 in excess of saline (P = 0.04 and 0.0004, respectively). Injection of 10 mg/ml albumin together with 10 mM sodium glutamate caused lesions of 70 +/- 11 microns3 in excess of saline (P = 0.005). This was not significantly different from the lesions caused by any of the two substances alone. Thus no potentiating effect of one substance on the toxicity of the other was seen in this study. The neurotoxicity of albumin could be of importance in disease states which are accompanied by leakiness of the blood-brain barrier.