Abstract In order to determine the nature of afferent fibres contacting thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)-synthesizing neuronal cell bodies in the rat hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, we used dual immunostaining procedures which employed antibodies to ACTH (to label proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons), neuropeptide Y (NPY) and dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DβH) and peroxidase-labeled goat anti-rabbit IgG as a first sequence and antibodies to a cryptic fragment (Phe178-Glu199) of pro-TRH (to label TRH neurons) and alkaline phosphatase-labeled goat anti-rabbit IgG as the second sequence. A rich innervation of the paraventricular nucleus by immunoreactive POMC, NPY and DβH fibres was observed. Numerous NPY and POMC fibres were in intimate anatomic proximity and often appeared to surround in remarkable density TRH-containing cell bodies. Less frequent appositions between DβH fibres and TRH cell bodies were detected. These results strongly suggest that TRH neurons might be regulated by POMC, NPY as well as adrenergic and/or noradrenergic systems. These interactions might be the neuroanatomical basis for the already observed effects of opiate peptides, NPY and catecholamines on TSH secretion.