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Injections of muscimol into the median raphe nucleus (MR) elicit intense drinking in normally hydrated rats. To determine whether this response is dependent on forebrain systems mediating other aspects of water intake, the authors examined the effects of lesions of the subfornical organ (SFO), median preoptic nucleus (MnPO), lateral preoptic area (LPO), or lateral hypothalamus (LH) on the drinking. Lesions of the SFO or LH attenuated muscimol-elicited drinking, whereas lesions of the MnPO or LPO increased water intake after the treatment. All of the lesion groups showed a deficit in drinking to injections of polyethylene glycol and at least one of the doses of hypertonic saline. Only the SFO- and LH-lesioned groups showed a suppression of drinking to systemic injections of angiotensin II, suggesting that the drinking elicited by intra-MR injections of muscimol may involve changes in the central circuits mediating angiotensin-induced drinking.