Simultaneous immunofluorescence labelling was used to determine the patterns of colocalization of immunoreactivity for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA-IR) with immunoreactivity for nitric oxide synthase (NOS), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and tachykinins (TK) in nerve cells and fibres of the guinea-pig small intestine. GABA-IR nerve cell bodies were located in the myenteric plexus and varicose fibres innervated the circular and longitudinal muscle, but did not form pericellular endings in the myenteric ganglia. GABA-IR nerve cells comprised 4-5% of all nerve cells in the myenteric ganglia. Of GABA-IR myenteric nerve cells, about 85% had NOS-IR and of GABA-IR nerve fibres in both muscle layers, about 75% were NOS-IR. Conversely, 20% of NOS-IR nerve cells were GABA-IR. About 6% of GABA-IR nerve fibres innervating the circular muscle, but none innervating the longitudinal muscle, were TK-IR. Most GABA-IR fibres supplying the circular muscle, but none of those supplying the longitudinal muscle, were VIP-IR. From this study, and previous studies of projections of enteric neurons, it is concluded that most GABA-IR neurons in the guinea-pig small intestine are inhibitory motor neurons that also contain NOS-IR. A small proportion represents anally directed excitatory motor neurons that innervate the circular muscle and are also immunoreactive for TK.