In these experiments L-glutamate, an amino acid which stimulates neuronal discharge, was microinjected into several hypothalamic nuclei and the resultant changes in electrical firing rate of sympathetic nerves innervating interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT) were measured. Three patterns of response were seen. A single large stimulatory response was seen when L-glutamate was microinjected into the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH). Microinjection of L-glutamate into the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) produced a predominantly stimulatory response which was of smaller magnitude than the VMN. However in three animals L-glutamate in the PVN decreased firing rate and in one animal a biphasic response was observed. The second pattern was a decrease in sympathetic activity to IBAT which was the predominant pattern following injection of L-glutamate into the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH). However, a biphasic pattern was also observed. Injection of L-glutamate into the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) produced 3 patterns of response; an increase, a decrease; or a biphasic response in nearly equal numbers of animals. The predominant response to L-glutamate in the preoptic area (POA) was biphasic. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the VMH is the predominant stimulatory site for activation of the sympathetic nervous system to IBAT in the rat. The DMH and LHA appear to be the predominant inhibitory areas.