We used the anterograde transport of HRP to analyze the nigrostriatal pathway after intrastriatal injections of kainic acid. A total volume of 1 μl kainic acid (3 nM) was injected unilaterally into the neostriatum of adult rats. After 5, 10, or 35 days, HRP was injected into the ipsilateral substantia nigra. Sections stained for Nissl substance revealed that kainic acid damaged as much as three-quarters of the neostriatum. Lesion sites were characterized by gliosis and the absence of neurons. Alternate sections processed for HRP histochemistry and analyzed with bright- and dark-field microscopy revealed labeled axons and terminals in the lesion site. These findings were consistent in all three time periods. Much of the labeling was similar to that seen in neostriata of control animals. However, the normal homogeneous pattern of the nigrostriatal terminal field was disrupted in all experimental groups, illustrated by changes in some labeling characteristics in the lesion site. These findins provide morphologic evidence for the preservation of much of the nigrostriatal pathway but indicate that some axons and their terminals may be altered after kainic acid injection.