Neuropeptide FF (NPFF) is an octapeptide implicated in a variety of physiological functions, including nociception, cardiovascular responses, and neuroendocrine regulation. The NPFF gene and its mRNA are highly conserved across species. A comparative study of NPFF distribution in the human and rat forebrain was carried out by using single NPFF and double NPFF + vasopressin (VP) immunohistochemistry. NPFF is extensively localized within neurochemical circuits of human and rat forebrain. Semiquantitative analysis revealed that the densities of NPFF cells and fibers in many forebrain nuclei in the human correlate well with those observed for the same structures in the rat. High numbers of NPFF positive neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus and a dense plexus of NPFF fibers surrounding the fornix within the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis were identified in the human and rat forebrain. Within the hypothalamus of both species, dense NPFF innervation was observed in the perinuclear zone of the supraoptic nucleus (SO) just dorsolateral to the VP-positive neurons. Extensive NPFF innervation of ventricular ependyma and brain microvasculature were common for both species. At the same time, obvious differences in NPFF localization between the two species were also apparent. For example, in contrast to the rat SO, no NPFF- or NPFF- + VP-immunostained cells were observed in the human SO. Knowledge of NPFF neuroanatomical localization in the human brain and the relationship of these observations to those in the rat brain may provide insight into the role of this peptide in central cardiovascular and neuroendocrine regulation.