Electrochemical stimulation of the hypothalamus of 23-day-old female rats induced precocious puberty as judged by occurrence of vaginal opening, the degree of uterine hypertrophy, changes in ovarian steroid content and incidence of first ovulation. Three types of responses were observed: (I) pubertal ovulation within 96 h; (II) pubertal ovulation within 120 h, and (HI) vaginal opening at 120 h not followed by ovulation. All treated animals showed a sustained increase in the LH/FSH ratio in both pituitary and plasma. Plasma estrogen was also increased 1 h after stimulation. A preovulatory rise in plasma estrogen and gonadotrophins was noted in type I and type II animals. These data lend further support to the suggestion that brain stimulation causes a release of gonadotrophins which induce ovarian steroidogenesis leading to an ovulatory gonadotrophin surge via a positive feedback effect.