The morphology and distribution of cells expressing beta-adrenergic receptors has been studied in developing kitten visual cortex using a monoclonal antibody which recognizes both beta-1 and beta-2 adrenergic receptors. We found specific populations of neurons and glial cells which express beta-adrenergic receptor immunoreactivity in the kitten visual cortex. In adult animals, the receptors are most concentrated in the superficial and deep cortical layers (layers I, II, III and VI). About 50% of the stained neural cells in adult cat visual cortex are glial cells. Most of the immunoreactive neurons in layers III and V are pyramidal cells while those in layers II and IV are more likely to be nonpyramidal cells. In neonatal kittens, staining is weaker than that in adult cats and it appears to be concentrated in neurons of the deep cortical layers and in the subcortical plate and white matter. Only a few immunoreactive glial cells were found at this age. Receptor numbers increase after birth and by 24 days of age, the laminar distribution of beta-adrenergic receptors approaches that of adult animals. Immunoreactive glial cells in the white matter show a progressive increase in number throughout postnatal development.