The equilibrium binding of [3H]propionyl neuropeptide Y ([ 3H]pNPY) to receptors in a crude synaptic membrane preparation from the rat striatum was influenced by GTP, which caused an apparent loss of high-affinity binding sites for [3H]pNPY. In the presence of GTP (10(-5) M), NPY and peptide YY (PYY) inhibited basal and forskolin-stimulated adenylate cyclase activity in a concentration-dependent manner in a cell-free preparation from rat striatum. The IC50 values for NPY and PYY were 1 X 10(-8) M and 1.4 x 10(-8) M respectively. The inhibitory action of NPY (10(-6) M) or of PYY (10(-6) M) was additive to that of acetylcholine (10(-4) M). The two peptides together also showed additivity (P less than 0.05) in inhibiting adenylate cyclase.