The effects of crowding on thyrotropin (TSH) and somatotropin (GH) secretion were studied in two-month-old male rats. Crowded rats (9-10 per cage) showed lower serum GH levels than controls (3 per cage). Likewise, serum GH was lower in crowded rats after acute exposure to stress. However, percentage inhibition of GH secretion induced by acute stress was similar in crowded and control rats. Crowding reduced the TSH response to acute stress. The results found with the administration of hypothalamic regulatory factors suggest that the impaired GH and TSH secretion observed in crowded rats was not likely to be at the pituitary level. Therefore, altered neuroendocrine control of GH and TSH secretion appears to exist in crowded rats. Preliminary results obtained in rats crowded from weaning to adulthood suggest that food restriction only partially accounts for the changes observed in crowded rats. © 1987 Academic Press, Inc.