Specific binding sites for galanin (GAL) were detected in brain and pituitary of a marine teleost fish, the sea bass, after in vitro incubation of tissue sections with [I-125]GAL and light microscopic autoradiography. Binding conditions were optimized and as a result the binding was saturable and specific. In the brain, [I-125]GAL binding was found to occur in all parts of the dorsal and ventral telencephalon, in the anterior, tuberal and posterior hypothalamus, in the thalamus and in the tectum opticum, in the inferior lobe and in the ventral medulla oblongata. In the pituitary dense [I-125]GAL binding was confined to the area occupied by the prolactin cells in the rostral part of the adenohypophysis. These findings provide the first anatomical evidence for the presence of GAL specific binding sites in the teleost brain and pituitary.