The distributions of the mRNAs encoding the l-glutamate transporters GLT1 and GLAST were examined in the rat brain by in situ hybridization using 35S-labelled oligonucleotide probes. Probes directed to GLT1 produced dense labelling in the hippocampus, neocortex and neostriatum, and weak labelling in the cerebellum. In contrast, GLAST mRNA appeared to be greatly enriched in the cerebellum compared to other brain regions. While the intensity of the labelling for GLAST and GLT1 varied among different regions, their cellular distributions appeared to coincide inasmuch as both mRNAs were mainly expressed by glial cells. Labelling occurred, inter alia, in glial cells throughout the hippocampus, and in Golgi epithelial cells in the Purkinje cell layer of the cerebellum.