A diverse afferent synaptic input to immunostained oxytocin magnocellular neurons of the paraventricular nucleus of the rat hypothalamus is described. By electron microscopy, immunoreactive material is present within cell bodies and neuronal processes and it is associated primarily with neurosecretory granules and granular endoplasmic reticulum. Afferent axon terminals synapse on perikarya, dendritic processes, and possibly axonal processes of oxytocin-containing neurons. The presynaptic elements of the synaptic complexes contain clear spherical vesicles, a mixture of clear spherical and ellipsoidal vesicles, or a mixture of clear and dense-centered vesicles. The postsynaptic membranes of oxytocinergic cells frequently show a prominent coating of dense material on the cytoplasmic face which gives the synaptic complex a marked asymmetry.