In addition to increasing blood pressure, stimulating aldosterone and vasopressin secretion, and increasing water intake, angiotensin II affects the secretion of anterior pituitary hormones. Some of these effects are direct. There are angiotensin II receptors on lactotropes and corticotropes in rats, and there may be receptors on thyrotropes and other secretory cells. Circulating angiotensin II reaches these receptors, but angiotensin II is almost certainly generated locally by the pituitary renin-angiotensin system as well. There are also indirect effects produced by the effects of brain angiotensin II on the secretion of hypophyseotropic hormones. In the anterior pituitary of the rat, the gonadotropes contain renin, angiotensin II, and some angiotensin-converting enzyme. There is debate about whether these cells also contain small amounts of angiotensinogen, but most of the angiotensinogen is produced by a separate population of cells and appears to pass in a paracrine fashion to the gonadotropes. An analogous situation exists in the brain. Neurons contain angiotensin II and probably renin, but most angiotensin-converting enzyme is located elsewhere and angiotensinogen is primarily if not solely produced by astrocytes. Angiotensin II causes secretion of prolactin and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) when added to pituitary cells in vitro. Paracrine regulation of prolactin secretion by angiotensin II from the gonadotropes may occur in vitro under certain circumstances, but the effects of peripheral angiotensin II on ACTH secretion appear to be mediated via the brain and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). In the brain, there is good evidence that locally generated angiotensin II causes release of norepinephrine that in turn stimulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone-secreting neurons, increasing circulating luteinizing hormone. In addition, there is evidence that angiotensin II acts in the arcuate nuclei to increase the secretion of dopamine into the portal-hypophyseal vessels, inhibiting prolactin secretion. Central as well as peripheral angiotensin II increases CRH secretion, but there is little if any evidence that angiotensin II mediates the ACTH responses to other stressful stimuli.