Abstract We have quantified corticosterone receptors in rat brain by optical density measurements of tritium-film autoradiograms. Rats were injected i.v. with 500 μCi [ 3H]corticosterone to label brain receptors. Frozen sections of brain were cut with a cryostat and exposed for 2 months against tritium-sensitive sheet film (LKB Ultrofilm). Tritium standards were used to convert optical density readings into molar concentrations of receptor. High levels of corticosterone receptors were present throughout the pyramidal and granule cell layers of the hippocampus. Moderate levels of receptors were found in the neuropil of the hippocampus, the lateral septum, the cortical nucleus of the amygdala and the entorhinal cortex. All other brain regions had low levels of receptors. These results extend previous non-quantitative autoradiographic studies of corticosterone receptors and provide a general procedure for the quantitative autoradiography of steroid hormone receptors in brain tissue.