Using picomolar concentrations of [125I]iodomelatonin and in-vitro autoradiography, specific melatonin-binding sites have been mapped in the rat brain and pituitary. Using this same technique, high-affinity melatonin receptors had previously been identified in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and median eminence regions of the rat hypothalamus. The presence of melatonin binding in the SCN has been confirmed, but the second area of binding has been identified as the pars tuberalis of the pituitary, and a completely novel area of binding is also reported in the area postrema. The existence of lower affinity melatonin receptors in the rat brain was also investigated using in-vitro autoradiography and higher concentrations of [125I]iodomelatonin. No further sites of specific binding were, however, disclosed.