Brain blood volume changes in the rat in response to 5-HT(1A) agonist and antagonist administration were measured using susceptibility contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Administration of the 5-HT(1A) agonist 8-OH-DPAT resulted in decreases in fractional brain blood volumes. Administration of the 5-HT(1A) antagonist WAY-100635 following a dose of 8-OH-DPAT resulted in increases in fractional blood volumes greatest in hippocampus and cortex and smallest in thalamus and caudate-putamen. The magnitude of the regional increases in blood volumes paralleled the distribution of 5-HT(1A) receptors in the rat brain. Administration of WAY-100635 alone resulted in decreases in cortical blood volume and increases in cerebellar blood volume.