The ligand binding properties of muscarinic receptors present in rat adenohypophysis were studied using the tritiated antagonists N-methyl-4-piperidyl benzilate, 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate, and methylscopolamine. Equilibrium analysis of antagonists binding as well as competition experiments with several agonists were used to probe the nature of binding sites. The nature of antagonist binding in the adenohypophysis points to heterogeneity of binding sites, in contrast to other brain regions, in which homogeneous populations of muscarinic receptors were detected. Some of the binding properties, e.g. affinity constants, population of high affinity agonist binding sites, etc., clearly indicated differences between male and female rats as well as differences in female rats at various stages of estrous cycle. The nature of these receptors and their possible physiological role are discussed.