Galanin-like peptide (GALP) is a recently isolated hypothalamic peptide which has sequence homology to galanin and binds to galanin receptors with high affinity. It has been shown that GALP neurons are localized in the arcuate nucleus and that GALP-immunoreactive fibers are in close apposition with LHRH neurons in the medial preoptic area (MPA). In the present study, we found that intracerebroventricular (icv) administration of GALP increased the plasma LH level but did not change the levels of other hormones. Concomitantly, accumulation of c-Fos protein was dramatically increased in the nuclei of LHRH-positive cells in the MPA by icv GALP administration. Furthermore, the GALP-induced plasma LH response was completely abolished by pretreatment with Cetrorelix, a LHRH receptor antagonist. On the other hand, GALP did not affect the release of LH, FSH, TSH, ACTH, GH or PRL directly from dispersed rat pituitary cells in vitro. These results strongly suggest a role for GALP in the control of gonadotropin secretion through a hypothalamic mechanism involving the release of LHRH.