The potential roles of central and peripheral 5-HT3 receptors in the secretion of prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), corticosterone and renin was investigated. Male rats received the 5-HT<sub>3</sub> antagonist ondansetron (0, 0.1 or 1 mg/kg i.p.), 30 min prior to injections of the serotonin (5-HT) releaser, p-chloroamphetamine (PCA; 0, 3 or 8 mg/kg i.p.). Blood samples were collected 60 min after PCA for radioimmunoassays of plasma prolactin, ACTH, corticosterone and renin concentrations. PCA significantly elevated secretion of each of these hormones. Pretreatment with the 5-HT3 antagonist, ondansetron, significantly attenuated the PCA-induced elevation of prolactin secretion, suggesting that 5-HT3 receptors contribute to the serotonergic stimulation of prolactin secretion. Ondansetron did not modify effects of PCA on ACTH, corticosterone or renin secretion. To determine whether the 5-HT3 receptor role in prolactin secretion is mediated in the brain, the endocrine effects of intracere-broventricular (i.e.v.) injections of 5-HT (30 µg/kg) or the 5-HT3 agonist, 2-methylserotonin (1 20 or 200 µg/kg) were evaluated. Both 5-HT and 2-methyl-serotonin significantly elevated plasma prolactin levels 15 min postinjection. However, ondansetron (1 mg/kg i.p.) did not antagonize these actions. Both 5-HT and 2-methylserotonin also increased plasma ACTH and corticosterone concentrations. Finally, 5-HT suppressed, while 2-methylserotonin stimulated renin secretion. None of the hormonal effects of i.c.v. injected 5-HT or 2-methylserotonin were altered by ondansetron. Thus, the results suggest that peripheral, but not central 5-HT<sub>3</sub> receptors are involved in the stimulation of prolactin secretion. Furthermore, 5-HT3 receptors do not mediate the serotonergic stimulation of ACTH, corticosterone, or renin secretion.