The permeability of the blood-brain barrier to high-and low-molecular-weight compounds has been measured as a function of continuous wave (CW) and pulsed microwave radiation. Adult rats, anesthetized with pentobarbital and injected intravenously with a mixture of (14C) sucrose and (3H) insulin, were exposed for 30 min at a specific absorption rate of 0.1 W/kg to 1.7 GHz CW and pulsed (0.5-us pulse width, 1000 pps) microwave radiation. Following exposure, the brain was perfused and sectioned into nine regions and the radioactivity in each region was counted. During identical exposure conditions, temperatures were measured in eight of the brain regions using a nonperturbing thermistor probe. No change in uptake of either tracer was found in any region as compared to sham-exposed animals.