Bombesin is a particularly potent hyperglycemic agent when administered intraventricularly or intracisternally in the rat. Because bombesin-like immunoreactivity is found in several forebrain regions implicated in glucoregulation, the ability of direct hypothalamic microinfusions of this peptide to affect serum metabolic fuel levels was tested. Three experiments, using anesthetized, acutely infused rats, or unanesthetized rats with chronic intracranial implants, showed that microinfusion of bombesin into the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus caused significant, dose-related increases in serum glucose; infusions into the lateral hypothalamus or the caudate nucleus were ineffective. Infusions into the ventromedial nucleus significantly elevated glucose only in acutely anesthetized rats. In unanesthetized rats with chronic intracranial cannulae, bombesin infusions into all 3 hypothalamic sites, but not the caudate-putamen, significantly elevated blood free fatty acids, while only infusions into the paraventricular nucleus caused significant dose-related increases in blood corticosterone. The results demonstrate that the paraventricular nucleus is a sensitive site for bombesin-induced elevation of blood glucose, free fatty acids, and corticosterone. They also imply that the bombesin binding sites and immunoreactive terminals previously identified in these regions may be involved in the central regulation of circulating metabolic fuel levels and the pituitary-adrenal axis, and that the effects of acute surgery may augment the hyperglycemic response to intrahypothalamic bombesin administration.