The effects of intracerebroventricular (10 ng/rat) or intravenous (10 or 40 µg/15 min/rat) administration of salmon calcitonin (sCT) on the prolactin (PRL) response to suckling and the activity of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) were examined in lactating rats. Plasma concentration of PRL increased dramatically in control rats after the onset of the suckling stimulus, while administration of sCT resulted in inhibition of PRL response to suckling. The action of sCT was much more effective with intracerebroventricular administration, which totally blocked PRL release, compared to intravenous administration. The intracerebroventricular administration of sCT increased TH activity of tuberoinfundibular dopamine neuron (TIDA) in the stalk-median eminence, as measured by DOPA accumulation, while completely suppressing the PRL response to suckling. Injection of α-methyl- p-tyrosine (α-MT; 50 mg/kg), an inhibitor of TH and thus dopamine synthesis, increased PRL levels, and suckling caused a further increase in plasma concentrations of PRL. Injection of sCT (intracerebroventricularly) did not inhibit the PRL response to suckling in the presence of a depletion of dopamine. These results suggest that sCT inhibition of PRL secretion in lactating rats is mediated mainly by TIDA neurons without involvement of other neuroendocrine mechanisms.