Peptide B represents one of the most highly conserved sequences in proenkephalin. To investigate the potential presence of this peptide in the mammalian nervous system, an antiserum raised to this peptide was used to measure the distribution and molecular weight forms of immunoreactive Peptide B in the rat brain. Peptide B-immunoreactivity (ir) was found to be most concentrated in the hypothalamus and the striatum, with lower concentrations in the midbrain and medulla-pons. Characterization of Peptide B-ir by gel filtration demonstrated that the major immunoreactive peak in the hypothalamus corresponded to a peptide with the approximate molecular weight of Peptide B. The major immunoreactive peptide exhibited a retention time on HPLC indicative of a peptide slightly more hydrophilic than bovine Peptide B. The results suggest that proenkephalin in rat brain can be processed to peptides related to bovine Peptide B.