The effect of chronic immobilization (2 h/day) for 13 days on basal and stress levels of GH and TSH, and their response to various hypothalamic regulatory factors was studied in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Chronic immobilization (IMO) resulted in reduced serum TSH levels in stress situations but not in resting conditions. GH secretion was inhibited both in resting and stress situations. Chronic IMO impaired both GH and TSH responses to GRH and TRH, respectively, but also to another peptide (VIP) stimulatory for the two hormones. Whereas somatostatin administration inhibited GH secretion in control but not in chronic IMO rats, its inhibitory effect on TSH was slight and similar in the two experimental groups. The present results suggest that chronic exposure to a severe stressor such as IMO alters GH and TSH secretion, at least in part by changes in the response of the pituitary to the hypothalamic regulatory factors. The actual influence of chronic IMO on the release of these peptides into the median eminence remains to be studied. © 1993.