The topographical distribution of the proposed amine transmitters dopamine (DA), serotonin (5-HT), noradrenaline (NA), adrenaline and histamine (HA) and of the metabolites of DA and 5-HT has been investigated in the neostriatum of the rat. DA and, less pronounced, its metabolites 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, homovanillic acid and 3-methoxytyramine exhibited gradients with highest levels in dorso-rostral areas and the lowest content in the ventro-caudal part of the striatum. In contrast to this 5-HT, 5-hydroxyindole-acetic acid, and NA exhibited levels which increased from frontal and dorsal areas to the ventro-caudal part of the striatum. The rostral nucleus accumbens and the pallidum were low in DA and high in 5-HT and NA when compared with the dorsal striatum. The turnover rates of DA and 5-HT as judged by the metabolite/amine ratios followed a distribution which was opposite to the respective amine levels. Adrenaline was evenly low in the striatum and only slightly higher in the n. accumbens and pallidum. The levels of HA were considerably lower than those of the other amines. Although HA was also unevenly distributed within the striatum, no clear pattern was found. The topographical distribution of the amines suggests a preferential role of DA in the dorsal striatum and of 5-HT and NA in the ventral part of the striatum including the n. accumbens and the pallidum.