A study of the anatomical distribution of the endogenous opioid dynorphin in rat brain showed that the peptide is localized in a widespread system with multiple cell groups and projections. This network is revealed by the use of multiple antiserums against dynorphin and can be distinguished from the system containing methionine-enkephalin and leucine-enkephalin, which is mapped by the use of antiserums against the enkephalins and biosynthetically related peptides in the adrenal. It thus appears that the brain contains at least three separate opioid neuronal networks: an enkephalin family with components similar to those found in the adrenal, a beta-endorphin family, and a dynorphin family.