The distribution of the P2X1 subtype of purinoceptors associated with the extracellular activities of ATP was studied in the rat cerebellum at the electron-microscope level. Receptors were labelled with peroxidase-antiperoxidase and the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex for immunocytochemistry. Immunoreactivity to P2X1 receptors was localized in subpopulations of synapses between varicosities of parallel fibres of granule cells and dendritic spines of Purkinje cells. Unlabelled varicosities of parallel fibres formed asymmetric synapses with labelled dendritic spines, whereas labelled varicosities of parallel fibres formed asymmetric synapses with unlabelled dendritic spines. P2X1 immunoreactivity was also localized in some astrocyte processes. The functional significance of these findings is discussed.