Using a strategy based upon nucleotide sequence homology and starting from the sequence of the rat histamine H2 receptor (Ruat et al., Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 1991, 179, 1470-1478), we have cloned a rat cDNA encoding a functional serotonin receptor (5-HT6). Its coding sequence corresponds to a glycoprotein of 436 amino acids displaying significant homology with other cloned monoaminergic receptors, e.g., various serotonin receptors. Genomic analysis of its gene indicated the presence of at least one intron. The major transcript of the 5-HT6 receptor gene has a size of approximately 4.1 kb but another minor 3.2 kb transcript was also evidenced. The highest expression, detected by Northern blot analysis as well as by in situ hybridization occurs in various serotoninergic areas of rat or guinea pig brain such as striatum, olfactory tubercle, nucleus accumbens and hippocampus, but a faint expression is also detectable in rat stomach. When transiently expressed in transfected COS-7 cells the 5-HT6 receptor appears to be positively coupled to cyclic AMP production.