: OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to examine susceptibility of the pituitary gland to estrogenic impulse in old, noncycling rats by measurement of steady state level of mRNAs encoding LH subunits a and b and mRNA for PRL. METHODS: 22-month-old rats were ovariectomized and after one week they were subcutaneously implanted with silastic tubing filled with oil or with estradiol 17-beta. Pituitary alpha, LHbeta and PRL mRNAs content and serum LH and PRL concentration was determined. RESULTS: The effect of E (2)treatment was manifested by the significant increase in the weight of the uterus and pituitary gland as well as by elevation of total pituitary RNA (109%, 60% and 78%, respectively; p<0.001). No significant changes (p>0.05) in serum LH concentration were observed, while levels of mRNAs encoding alpha and LH-beta subunits were lowered by 54% (p<0.05) and 96% (p<0.01), respectively, in the rats subjected to E(2) stimuli. No direct correlation between synthesis and release of LH in E(2) treated old rats was observed. The blood PRL concentration and the pituitary level of PRL mRNA increased up to 2,000% and 1,300%, respectively (p<0.001). Spontaneous pituitary adenoma was observed in about 30% of the rats, irrespective of treatment. CONCLUSIONS: These data show that in old rats estrogenic stimulus can effectively diminish both pituitary LH subunits mRNAs as well as stimulate pituitary PRL mRNA level indicating that the E(2)-dependent processes involved in the regulation of corresponding genes are still functional.