Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) causes a significant increase in rat cerebellar guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cGMP) content after parenteral administration. A smaller but still significant increase in cGMP was also observed in brain stem, whereas no significant changes were observed in cGMP in other gross brain regions or in adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate in any brain region. TRH also caused a similar increase in cerebellar cGMP content in hypophysectomized rats indicating that the increase is independent of an intact pituitary. The time course of cGMP elevation in the cerebellum after administration of 10 mg/kg of TRH i.v. showed a peak at 2.5 to 5.0 min followed by a less rapid decrease. The time course of TRH immunoreactivity in the same cerebellar homogenates roughly paralleled these changes. Only those TRH analogs which were previously shown to antagonize pentobarbital sleeping time in mice caused an elevation in cGMP content in the cerebellum. TRH also caused a significant increase in cerebellar cGMP in rats pretreated with phenobarbital and chlordiazepoxide. The TRH-induced increase in cerebellar cGMP was not affected by cerebellar climbing fiber lesions caused by 3-acetylpyridine nor blocked by haloperidol, suggesting that TRH acts by mechanisms different from harmaline or apomorphine in raising cerebellar cGMP.