The present study compared plasma IL-18 levels between sham-operated and adrenalectomized mice following stress to investigate whether the adrenal gland contributes to the elevation of circulating IL-18 during stress. Two hours of stress provoked a robust, stressor-dependent, elevation of IL-18 mRNA and peptide in the adrenal gland in sham-operated mice. Consistently, levels of circulating mature IL-18 increased during stress and remained elevated for up to 6 h after stress. The stress-induced increase in circulating IL-18 was abolished by adrenalectomy. These findings demonstrate that the adrenal gland is required to achieve elevation of circulating IL-18 during stress.