1. In this report the postnatal differentiation of the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMN) was studied. The main maturational changes detected at the fine structural level occurred between 10 and 20 days of postnatal life. 2. In 5-day-old rats the majority of neurons was undifferentiated, with rudimentary cytoplasmic organelles. Dendritic profiles presented an empty appearance due to an electron-lucent matrix and scarce content of organelles. 3. At 10 days there was a significant proliferation of cytoplasmic organelles in the perikaryon, mainly of those involved in protein biosynthesis as the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER) and the Golgi complex. 4. After 20 days of age the VMN neurons acquired the cytological appearance of adult neurons, with well-organized RER, Golgi complexes, and pleomorphic mitochondria. Concurrent with these changes, there was a marked development of other organelles in the neuropil, which was accompanied by an increase in synaptic density and differentiation of their subsynaptic structures. © 1992 Plenum Publishing Corporation.