The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of destroying somatostatin (SRIF) neurons of the periventricular (PV) nucleus of the hypothalamus on the pulsatile pattern of growth hormone (GH) secretion in female rats. At 6–10 days after placement of PV lesions, blood samples collected every 15 min for 3–4 h showed an elevation in baseline GH levels and an increase in the amplitude of GH secretory peaks; the frequency of pulses was not affected. These changes were associated with an increase in mean integrated plasma GH levels. The alterations appeared transient because nonstress plasma GH levels were normal in two blood samples collected between 6 and 17 weeks after lesion placement and at autopsy at 17 weeks. Stress-induced suppression of GH secretion was also unaffected by the PV lesions. These lesions severely compromised the SRIF system that projects to the median eminence because the median eminence content of SRIF was approximately 85% depleted in the lesioned group. These results confirm that the hypothalamic PV nucleus is essential for maintaining most of the SRIF in the median eminence and demonstrate that damage to the PV nucleus causes transient alterations in the pulsatile pattern of GH secretion. However, the PV nucleus does not appear to play a major role in driving pulsatile GH secretion.