The expression of several bioactive molecules in magnocellular hypothalamic neurons is modified when the axons of these cells are transected. In this study we have evaluated by means of immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization the effect of hypophysectomy on the expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS)- and of galanin message-associated peptide (GMAP)-like immunoreactivities (-LIs) as well as on their respective mRNAs in hypothalamic magnocellular neurosecretory neurons. The results show a transient increase in NOS- and GMAP-LIs in magnocellular neurons of both the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei when compared to normal animals. The maximal increase in staining was observed between 5 and 7 days, and by 14 days NOS-LI was back to normal levels, whereas strong GMAP-LI could still be detected in a few cells. A similar picture was observed for the NOS and GMAP mRNAs. The functional significance of the present findings is unclear, but they indicate a possible role of nitric oxide and GMAP in neurosecretory neurons after injury.