The purpose of this study was to examine the development and distribution of neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive fibers in the neurohypophysis of the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) throughout life and the relationship of these fibers to the hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal vasculature. In rhesus monkeys, which varied in age from fetal life to 34 years, neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive fibers were present at all ages examined. In adult monkeys, varicose neuropeptide Y-labeled fibers were concentrated in the upper infundibular stem in association with capillary loops of the portal vasculature and the long portal vessels. Other fibers travelled down the infundibular stem and were distributed at the junction of the lower infundibular stem and infundibular process in the vicinity of the short portal vessels. In the infundibular process, neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive fibers were concentrated along the border of the intermediate lobe. Other stained fibers were sparsely distributed in the infundibular process and were often associated with small vessels. Neuropeptide Y-immunoreactivity was also located in a few fibers and cells of the intermediate lobe. Very few labeled fibers were seen in the fetal neurohypophysis, but their number increased gradually during the first postnatal year. At two years of age, a high density of stained fibers was observed, especially in the infundibular process. The number of axons in the infundibular process was lower at 12 years and continued to decline until 34 years of age. Neuropeptide Y may modulate hormone release at these sites and may also be released directly into vessels in the infundibular process. The close association of neuropeptide Y-labeled fibers with capillaries of the portal vasculature strongly suggests that neuropeptide Y is released into the portal blood of monkeys throughout life and may influence hormone secretion from the anterior pituitary gland. © 1988 Springer-Verlag.