The central serotonergic system was manipulated using a serotonin receptor antagonist (cyproheptadine), electrolytic lesioning of the raphe nuclei and neurochemical destruction of the serotonergic terminals in the hypothalamus. The effects of these interventions on ether-induced ACTH secretion were studied in adrenalectomized rats. Serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine concentrations were measured in the medial basal hypothalamus (MBH) or in individual nuclei of the hypothalamus and of certain midbrain regions. Cyproheptadine pretreatment inhibited ether-induced ACTH hypersecretion in adrenalectomized animals. Neither the electrolytic lesions of the midbrain raphe nuclei, nor the neurotoxic destruction of the hypothalamic serotonergic terminals (by intraventricular administration of 5,6-dihydroxytryptamine) caused any alteration of stimulated ACTH secretion after ether inhalation and/or long-term corticoid deficiency. These results suggest a lack of correlation between the activity of the central serotonergic system and the ACTH releasing effect of ether stress in adrenalectomized rats.