Our earlier studies have shown that thyroliberin (TRH) as well as thyrotropin (TSH) enhanced thymus cell proliferation. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the effects of TRH and TSH on thymocyte proliferation depend on time of day. A single subcutaneous injection of TRH (25 μg/animal) or TSH (3 IU/animal) was made at 9:00 h (1 h after light onset) or at 18:00 h (10 h after light onset) in 3-month-old male Wistar rats. The animals were killed 24 h later. The proliferation of thymocytes was assessed by incorporation of bromodeoxyuridine into cell nuclei. Thymocyte proliferation was significantly increased by TSH administration at 9:00 h, whereas treatment given at 18:00 h was ineffective. TRH enhanced the proliferation when injected at 9:00 h, but had an inhibitory effect when administered at 18:00 h. These data indicate that the effects of TRH and TSH on thymocyte proliferation are dependent on time of day.