The effects of long-term lithium administration on pre- and postsynaptic processes involved in serotonergic neurotransmission were measured in rat hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Long-term lithium administration increased both basal and potassium chloride-stimulated release of endogenous serotonin from the hippocampus but not from the cortex. Serotonergic receptor binding was reduced in the hippocampus but not in the cortex. These results suggest a mechanism by which lithium may stabilize serotonin neurotransmission.