The influence of dexamethasone treatment on the basal values of corticosterone, GH, prolactin (PRL), LH and FSH, as well as on the adenohypophyseal hormone response to chronic stress was studied in female rats. Dexamethasone acetate (25 µg/100 b.w.), given by gavage twice daily for 10 days, decreased the resting plasma levels of corticosterone, GH, LH and PRL, whereas the FSH titers remained normal. The secretion of ACTH (evaluated indirectly through corticosterone concentrations) and of GH appeared to be most sensitive to the suppressive effect of dexamethasone. The same hormonal response pattern was induced by 8 h of daily immobilization for 10 days, except that ACTH release was enhanced and the plasma LH titers dropped more drastically. Dexamethasone administration in combination with restraint did not alter the characteristic hormonal profile of chronic stress, despite the fact that ACTH secretion was completely blocked. These data suggest that the inhibition of PRL, LH and GH secretion following severe, chronic stress is not causally related to the sustained elevation of plasma ACTH.