The locus coeruleus (LC) is a putative site of action for angiotensin II in the brain. Immunocytochemical studies have identified angiotensin II-like immunoreactive material in nerve terminals innervating the LC, and the LC contains one of the highest densities of angiotensin II receptor binding sites in the rat brain. Recent studies using selective neurotoxins suggest that the binding sites for angiotensin II in the LC are present on noradrenergic perikarya. Angiotensin II receptors are now known to exist as two subtypes that are distinguishable both pharmacologically and biochemically. Radioligand binding studies using agonists and antagonists selective for these angiotensin II receptor subtypes indicate that the rat LC contains a mixture of the two known angiotensin II receptor subtypes, but that the PD123177-sensitive AIIβ receptor subtype is predominant. Comparisons of spontaneously hypertensive rats with normotensive rats indicates that angiotensin II and its receptors in the LC are elevated in the hypertensive rat strain. Studies of the biochemical and physiological actions of angiotensin II in the LC have not yet established an agreed-upon function for angiotensin II in this nucleus.