Burst of action potentials were recorded intracellularly from 11 phasically firing magnocellular neurons in the paraventricular nucleus in slices of rat hypothalamus. Thes burst of overshooting, often broadening action potentials (63-87 mV peak-to-peak) were superimposed on depolarizing plateau potentials. Phasic activity was recorded before and/or after the neurons were injected with the fluorescent dye Lucifer Yellow CH. Injected neurons were first examined in whole slices, and subsequently, in sectioned material, characterized immunocytochemically using antisera to vasopressin- and oxytocin-associated neurophysins (VP-NP and OT-NP respectively). The 11 injections produced 8 single dye filled neurons and 3 pairs of dye-coupled neurons, 14 dye-filled cells in all. Six of the single cells and all the dye coupled pairs were immunoreactive with VP-NP antiserum and not reactive with OT-NP antiserum. Most of these neurons were in areas of the nucleus in which VP-NP reactive cells predominated, but two were surrounded by OT-NP reactive cells. Two single, dye-filled, phasically active, magnocellular neurons failed to show immunoreactivity to either antiserum. © 1986.