Posterior pituitaries of obese mice (ob/ob) contained significantly more immunoreactive dynorphin (P less than .01) and leu-enkephalin (P less than .01) than their lean littermates. Drinking in obese mice was stimulated by 0.3%, and feeding by 10%, of the dose of ethylketocyclazocine, a kappa receptor agonist, needed to produce extra feeding and drinking in lean mice. Obese mice also showed greater and longer lasting suppression of ingestion after MR-2266, a kappa antagonist, than did lean mice. MR-2266 was much more effective than naloxone in suppressing schedule-induced polydipsia in rats. These results indicate that kappa receptors are involved in feeding and drinking and that obesity is associated with changes in these receptors and their ligands.