Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was stereotaxically injected into the nucleus accumbens (Acb), and visceral noxious stimulation given by injecting formalin into the stomach. Sections of the medulla were subjected to HRP reaction combined with immunohistochemical reactions for Fos protein (ABC method) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, PAP method). The catecholaminergic neurons of the medulla (including vagal complex, ventrolateral medulla and reticular formation between them) which expressed Fos protein and projected to Acb were studied. The results showed that HRP retrogradely labeled cells were seen in the medulla bilaterally with apparent ipsilateral predominance and TH-LI and Fos-LI single labeled cells were bilaterally distributed; HRP/TH,TH/Fos double labeled neurons were more numerous than HRP/Fos double-labeled neurons. HRP/TH/Fos triple-labeled neurons were small in number and were mainly distributed in the nucleus tractus solitarii (nTS) and ventrolateral medulla (VLM), but only a few labeled cells were located in RF between nTS and VLM. It is concluded that TH-LI neurons in the medulla projected to Acb and some of them expressed Fos protein after noxious stimulation of the stomach.