The ventral aspect of the medulla oblongata of colchicine-treated rats was examined immunohistochemically using mouse monoclonal antibodies raised against somatostatin (SOM) and rabbit polyclonal antibodies to methionine enkephalin (ENK). Numerous perikarya showed positive immunostaining for both antisera. For the most part, the double-labelled cells were located (1) along the ventrolateral surface in a region that corresponds to nucleus paragigantocellularis, (2) in the region of nucleus gigantocellularis-nucleus raphe magnus and (3) in a discrete area just above the inferior olivary nucleus. In an attempt to determine the projection sites of the SOM/ENK somata, the retrogradely transported fluorescent dye Fluoro-Gold was injected into either the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) or the upper part of the thoracic spinal cord. SOM/ENK cells in all 3 regions were labelled by dye administered into the spinal cord whereas only those SOM/ENK cells located in nucleus paragigantocellularis were stained by dye microinjected into NTS. This is the first evidence of a SOM/ENK projection from the ventral medulla to either the spinal cord or NTS.