Recent studies suggest that nitric oxide (NO) may regulate hormone biosynthesis and secretion. This was tested by treating male rats with NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (NAME), a NO synthase inhibitor, and measuring serum and testicular interstitial fluid testosterone and serum corticosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and prolactin (PRL). The effect of NG-nitro-L-arginine (NA), a less-soluble form of the same NO synthase inhibitor, on the reproductive suppressant actions of alcohol was also examined. NAME increased testosterone and corticosterone secretion dose-dependently without affecting LH and PRL secretion. The alcohol-induced suppression of testosterone or LH secretion was not altered by treatment with NA. Although effects of NAME and NA on other systems may be involved, these results indicate that testicular and adrenal steroidogenesis are negatively regulated by endogenos NO and that NO does not regulate LH and PRL secretion or inhibit the testicular steroidogenic pathway in the same way as alcohol.