OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of chronically ethanol treatment on insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) synthesis in various adult brain regions using immunocytochemistry. METHODS We performed this study at the Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli University, Kocaeli, Turkey from March 2006 to October 2007. The vascular perfusion was utilized to fix the adult rat brains (10 for each group). After applying the routine histological techniques, the tissues were embedded in the paraffin. The immunohistochemical protocol was applied to the 10 um thick sections and the expression of IGF-I positive cells were observed in the neuro-anatomic areas. RESULTS The distribution of IGF-I immunoreactive cells differed between the layers of the normal cerebral cortex and in the thalamic areas. In the alcoholic brain, the amount of IGF-I immunoreactive cells were decreased compared to the similar neuro-anatomical areas examined in the normal brains. CONCLUSION The presence of IGF-I immunoreactivity in the neurons of the various neuro-anatomic areas demonstrates clearly that, these particular neurons are active in IGF-I synthesis. The decrease in the immunoreactivity of IGF-I in the chronically ethanol treated adult rat brain areas, show clearly that, ethanol effects negatively on the IGF-I synthesis.