The serotonin 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptors are two structurally related but pharmacologically distinguishable 5-HT receptor types. In brain, the 5-HT1A receptor is localized on the soma and dendrites of neurons, whereas the 5-HT1B receptor is targeted to the axon terminals. We previously showed that these two receptors are targeted in different membrane compartments when stably expressed in the epithelial LLC-PK1 cell line. Further investigations on the mechanisms responsible for their differential targeting were done by constructing chimeras of 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B receptors still able to bind specifically [3H]lysergic acid diethylamide and selective agonists and antagonists. Their cellular localization examined by confocal microscopy suggests that the third intracellular domain of the 5-HT1B receptor was responsible for its Golgi-like localization in transfected LLC-PK1 cells. In contrast, the third intracellular domain of the 5-HT1A receptor apparently allowed the sorting of the chimeras to the plasma membrane. Further inclusion of the C-terminal domain of the 5-HT1A receptor in their sequence led to a basolateral localization, whereas that of the 5-HT1B receptor allowed an apical targeting, suggesting the existence of a targeting signal in this portion of the receptor(s).