The distribution of Man-6-P receptors was determined by immunoperoxidase cytochemistry in Clone 9 hepatocytes cultured in the presence or absence of tunicamycin and chloroquine, agents that perturb lysosomal enzyme sorting and lead to their secretion. In control (untreated) cells, receptors were localized in cis Golgi cisternae, coated vesicles, and in endosomes or lysosomes. After tunicamycin treatment, receptors were found in coated vesicles lined up along the cis cisternae but were not detected in endosomes or lysosomes. After chloroquine treatment, receptors were localized in large vacuolated endosomes or lysosomes but were not usually detected in Golgi cisternae or in coated vesicles. These results demonstrate a redistribution of receptors along the normal Man-6-P-dependent sorting pathway after these treatments. In ligand-deficient (tunicamycin-treated) cells, immunoreactive receptors accumulate at the presumptive sorting site in the cis Golgi and are depleted from endosomes and lysosomes. When the intralysosomal pH is increased (by chloroquine treatment) preventing ligand-receptor dissociation, receptors accumulate at the presumptive delivery site (lysosomes and endosomes) and are depleted from the cis Golgi region. The findings also suggest that (a) ligand binding triggers movement of the receptor to endosomes or lysosomes, and (b) ligand dissociation triggers their movement back to the cis Golgi region.