The effects of catechol oestradiol and catechol oestrone on the release of LH and prolactin were investigated in immature male and female Wistar rats. In male rats both catechol oestradiol and catechol oestrone significantly increased the plasma concentration of LH, and catechol oestradiol but not catechol oestrone significantly increased the plasma concentration of prolactin and decreased the pituitary concentration of LH. The parent oestrogens, oestradiol-17β and oestrone, had no effect on plasma LH concentrations, but both increased significantly the plasma concentration of prolactin, and oestrone but not oestradiol-17β increased the pituitary concentration of LH. In immature female rats, catechol oestradiol inhibited the surge of LH and the increase in uterine weight induced by injecting pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG). The injection of oestrone induced an increase in the plasma concentration of LH which was about nine times greater than that produced by oestradiol-17β. There were no significant differences in the effects of these steroids on plasma prolactin concentration. These results (i) confirm that in the immature male rat catechol oestrogens can stimulate LH release and show that catechol oestradiol can increase prolactin release, (ii) show that catechol oestradiol can inhibit the stimulatory effects of PMSG on LH release and uterine weight in the immature female rat, and (iii) demonstrate that oestrone can stimulate LH release in the immature female rat.