Wistar rats grown up during the early postnatal life (3-21 days after birth) in artificially built normal, small or large lifters developed a significantly different body weight. This difference persisted also during adulthood when they had free access to food and water. The influence of iontophoretically administered cholecystokinin (CCK8S), serotonin (5-HT) or co-ejection of both on firing of lateral hypothalamic neurons was investigated in adult, urethane anesthetized rats of the three groups. The responsiveness to CCK8S was significantly higher in large- and small-litter rats than in the normal control group. The differences were greater in males than in females. They resulted in the male large-litter group from an increase of excitatory responses, whereas in the male small-litter group the proportion of inhibitory responses was augmented. Co-administration of 5-HT generally reduced the neuronal responsiveness. Especially in the large-litter group excitatory responses were significantly reduced. It may be speculated that the availability of food in the early postnatal life influences the development of the hypothalamic regulatory network in such a way that it stabilizes the high or low food ingestion all the life. At least in males, a changed responsiveness and type of response to cholecystokinin of lateral hypothalamic neurons might be involved in this altered regulation.