Direct placement of L-dopa into the medial preoptic area (MPOA) of aged pseudopregnant or constant vaginal estrous female rats resulted in a reinitiation of vaginal cycles and ovulation. Similar treatment with L-dopa in the dorsomedial septum or cortex was ineffective. Direct placement of leucine into any of the three brain regions did not have an effect on ovarian function. Intermittent treatment with L-dopa to MPOA was found to reinstate and maintain vaginal cycles in constant estrous females only when administered on the day of vaginal estrus of successive cycles. These findings support the hypothesis that age-dependent disturbances in ovarian function may be initiated by changes in neurotransmitter metabolism within the central nervous system.