To investigate which neurons in the medulla oblongata produced the nuclear protein FOS during stimulation of respiration by hypercapnia, we subjected six anaesthetized cats to 10% CO2 in air for one hour. Four animals inhaled room air. Coronal sections from the medulla oblongata were processed for FOS immunohistochemistry. Only the retrotrapezoid nucleus (RTN) of the animals exposed to CO2 contained a large population of labelled neurons. This indicates that RTN neurons are strongly activated during hypercapnia.