We measured the concentration of oxytocin and vasopressin in microdissected areas of the hypothalamus and posterior pituitary in weanling and adult female rats. Oxytocin concentration was significantly less in adult rats as compared to weanling rats in the supraoptic nucleus, median eminence, and retrochiasmatic area with no significant differences in vasopressin content. This may indicate differences in hypothalamic-neurohypophyseal pathways in adult and weanling rats. There was a significantly greater concentration of oxytocin in the adult rat in the paraventricular nucleus, suprachiasmatic nucleus, anterior hypothalamic nucleus, and posterior pituitary, again with no significant difference in vasopressin concentration. Our results are consistent with a role for sexual maturation in increasing synthesis of oxytocin in specific hypothalamic nuclei resulting in increased storage of oxytocin in the posterior pituitary.