The fate of wheat germ agglutinin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase (WGA/HRP) subsequent to its uptake and retrograde axonal transport in abducens motoneurons of the monkey was studied using histochemical localization of WGA/HRP reaction product and light microscopy. Injections of WGA/HRP into monkey lateral rectus muscles produced a pattern of labelled motoneurons like that obtained with native HRP. In contrast to the native HRP data, WGA/HRP injections consistently labelled additional neuronal populations in the ipsilateral medial vestibular nucleus and contralateral dorsal medullary reticular formation. These regions correspond to those containing neurons known to make inhibitory synaptic contact with abducens motoneurons. No labelled neurons were observed in regions which contain excitatory premotor neurons. These data are consistent with the notion of retrograde transneuronal transport of WGA/HRP to premotor neurons. The specificity of the transneuronal exchange is indicated by the finding that only certain populations of premotor neurons were labelled. The precise manner by which preferential transneuronal transport of WGA/HRP is attained remains to be determined. © 1985 Springer-Verlag.