Serotonergic synaptic inputs to cholinergic neurons in the laterodorsal and pedunculopontine tegmental nuclei were examined with pre-embedding dual-label immunoelectron microscopy. Numerous serotonin-immunoreactive axon terminals visualized with a silver-enhanced immunogold method were present in both of these tegmental nuclei. Serotonergic terminals occasionally made synaptic contacts with the soma and proximal dendrites of cholinergic tegmental neurons labelled with a choline acetyltransferase-immunoreactive peroxidase-anti-peroxidase diaminobenzidine reaction product. In the rostralmost region of the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, a few serotonergic neurons of the dorsal raphe nucleus were interspersed among cholinergic neurons. Some dendrites of these serotonergic neurons appeared to contain synaptic vesicles. Both myelinated and unmyelinated serotonergic axons were present in the mesopontine tegmentum. The presence of serotonergic synapses onto tegmental cholinergic neurons is consistent with previous behavioral and electrophysiological findings suggesting an inhibitory role of serotonin in the induction of rapid eye movement sleep and its phenomenology through an action on cholinergic neurons in the mesopontine tegmentum.