Adenosine has been shown to be a major regulator of neuronal activity in convulsive disorders, exerting its anticonvulsant effect through central A1 adenosine receptors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of generalized tonic-clonic seizures induced by pentylentetrazol on regional changes in A1 adenosine receptor density and distribution in the mouse brain by in vitro quantitative autoradiography. As radioligand the specific agonist of A1 receptors [3H]cyclohexyladenosine was used. After two consecutive (once daily) pentylentetrazol-induced convulsions a widespread upregulation of A1 receptor density was detected with a marked enhancement in structures that mediate seizure activity like hippocampus, mamillary bodies, septum, substantia nigra, thalamic nuclei and cerebral cortices. On the contrary, in basal ganglia a significant downregulation of A1 receptors was observed. These results indicate that: (i) the observed increases or decreases in A1 receptor density are organized in selective anatomical structures related to seizure development rather than uniform in the brain; and (ii) since the upregulation of A1 receptors is sufficient to enhance the physiological depressive response of adenosine, the overall evoked increases seen here may lead to a stronger inhibitory tone and accordingly to a more efficient anticonvulsant effect of endogenous adenosine.