In the last years, nitric oxide (NO) has emerged as an important intra- and intercellular transmitter involved in the control of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, and NO synthase (NOS) has been identified in pituitary cells. To determine the role of NO in the control of GH secretion acting directly at the pituitary level, we have studied GH release by hemipituitaries incubated in the presence of different concentrations (10<sup>–7</sup>–10<sup>–3</sup> M) of sodium nitroprusside (SNP), a potent NO donor. We found that SNP (10<sup>–4</sup>–10<sup>–3</sup> M) stimulated GH release. This effect was mediated by the release of NO since it was abolished in the presence of hemoglobin, a scavenger of NO, but preserved in the presence of rhodanese + sodium thiosulfate (inactivators of cyanides generated from SNP). To analyze the participation of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), the second messenger for a wide range of NO actions, in SNP-stimulated GH secretion, hemipituitaries were incubated in the presence of 8-bromo-cGMP (8-Br-cGMP; 10<sup>–7</sup>–10<sup>–3</sup> M). In addition, hemipituitaries were stimulated with SNP plus oxadiazoloquinoxaline (OQD) or LY 83,583 (inhibitors of guanylyl cyclases). We found that 8-Br-cGMP was ineffective in eliciting GH release, and that the stimulatory effect of SNP was maintained in presence of OQD and LY 83,583. Finally, to analyze calcium dependence, the SNP effect was studied in hemipituitaries incubated in free medium calcium, in the presence of nifedipine and verapamil (blockers of calcium channels) and after depletion of intracellular Ca<sup>2+</sup> stores with caffeine. We found that the SNP-induced GH secretion is also detected after incubation of hemipituitaries in free calcium medium, in the presence of nifedipine and verapamil, and after caffeine preincubation. We conclude that NO stimulates GH secretion in vitro through a specific calcium-cGMP-independent mechanism.