The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)/phencyclidine (PCP) receptor from rat forebrain was solubilized with sodium cholate and purified by affinity chromatography on amino-PCP-agarose. A 3700-fold purification was achieved. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate and dithiothreitol revealed four major bands of Mr 67000, 57 000, 46000, and 33 000. [3H]Azido-PCP was irreversibly incorporated into each of these bands after UV irradiation. The dissociation constant (Kd) of [1-(2-thienyl)cyclohexyl]piperidine ([3H]TCP) binding to the purified NMDA/PCP receptor was 120 nM. The maximum specific binding (Bmax) for [3H]TCP binding was 3.3 nmol/mg of protein. The pharmacological profile of the purified receptor complex was similar to that of the membranal and soluble receptors. The binding of [3H]TCP to the purified receptor was modulated by the NMDA receptor ligands glutamate, glycine, and NMDA.