Inhibition of hypothalamic thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) neuronal activity is a well-established adaptation to caloric restriction (CR) that suppresses pituitary secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone, but may also participate in modulation of autonomic function. Thus, we hypothesized that decreased hypothalamic TRH activity contributes to CR-induced bradycardia and decreased metabolic rate. To test this hypothesis, male Sprague-Dawley rats were instrumented with telemetry devices for measurement of heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) and a lateral intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) guide cannula for central infusions. After recovery, rats were housed in metabolic chambers and given either ad libitum(ad-lib) or CR treatments for 7 days; half of each diet group was then given continuous i.c.v. infusions of TRH (25 nmol/h) or saline (0.25 µl/h) for 7 days via osmotic pump. This dose of TRH did not significantly alter peripheral free T<sub>4</sub> levels. In ad-lib rats, TRH infusion produced small reductions in food intake and small increases in HR and BP over saline-infused controls. In CR rats, TRH infusion resulted in an increase in HR and also energy expenditure over saline-infused controls. These results support the hypothesis that suppression of central TRH activity contributes to the homeostatic suppression of energy expenditure and HR observed during CR.