We studied angiotensin II (ANG II) receptor subtype expression in selected brain nuclei and pituitary gland after water deprivation by in vitro receptor autoradiography using 125I-labeled [Sar1]ANG II and by in situ hybridization using 35S-labeled AT1A, AT1B, and AT2 receptor-specific riboprobes. In control rats we found binding to AT1 receptors in the subfornical organ, paraventricular nucleus, median eminence, and anterior pituitary; AT1A mRNA expression in the subfornical organ and paraventricular nucleus; and AT1B mRNA expression in the anterior pituitary. No receptor mRNA was found in the median eminence. AT1 receptors and AT1A receptor mRNA levels were increased in the subfornical organ, and, in the anterior pituitary, AT1 receptors and AT1B receptor mRNA were increased, only after 5 days of water deprivation. No significant changes occurred after 1 or 3 days of water deprivation, and no regulation of ANG II receptor expression was detected in other brain areas. Our results show that prolonged water deprivation selectively regulates AT1 receptor expression and AT1A and AT1B receptor mRNA levels in the subfornical organ and anterior pituitary, respectively, supporting a role for these receptors during sustained dehydration.