This study examined the role of the diagonal band of Broca (DBB) in drinking behaviour and vasopressin release. Adult male rats were anaesthetized (pentobarbital 50 mg/kg) and received DBB injections of either ibotenic acid (0.5 μl of 5 μg/μl) or vehicle (0.5 μl of phosphate-buffered saline). Although baseline drinking and urine output were not affected, drinking to 30% polyethylene glycol (MW 8000; 1 ml/100 g s.c.) and angiotensin II (0, 1.5 and 3.0 mg/kg s.c.) were significantly increased in ibotenic acid in phosphate-buffered saline (DBBX) rats. Drinking to hypertonic saline (0.9, 4 and 6%; 1 ml/100 g), and water deprivation were not significantly affected. DBBX rats had significantly lower basal heart rates than controls but the cardiovascular responses to infusions of angiotensin II (100 ng/kg/min i.v. for 45 min) were not affected. DBBX rats had significantly higher basal vasopressin, but angiotensin-stimulated vasopressin release was not significantly different. Although the DBB is not involved in basal water intake, it is involved in dipsogenic responses to hypovolemic stimuli and possibly basal autonomic function and basal vasopressin release.