This study examined the effect of thyroidectomy (TX) on the GH axis in sheep. The secretion of GH was monitored 10 and 77 days after TX or sham-TX when the effects on plasma GH and prolactin levels of the injection of 0.5 ug GH-releasing factor (GRF)/kg and 1 μg thyrotrophin-releasing hormone (TRH)/kg were also assessed. There were no significant differences in GH pulse amplitude, pulse frequency, inter-pulse interval and GH secreted/h between sham-TX and TX animals at 10 or 77 days after TX. There was no difference in the GH response to GRF injection in sham-TX sheep at any time but in TX sheep the GH response was significantly (P<0.05) attenuated 10 days after TX. After 77 days the GH response was similar to the response before TX. There was no measurable GH response to injection of TRH in sham-operated or TX sheep at any time. The prolactin response to TRH was not affected by TX or sham-TX. These results suggest that TX in sheep does not affect GH secretion but paradoxically the response to GRF is attenuated in hypothyroid sheep in the short term. TRH causes release of prolactin but not GH in sheep.