This study was performed to determine the disappearance half-life times of endogenous and exogenous rat GH in conscious normal rats and to compare these with the decay characteristics of GH at the end of spontaneous normal bursts. The endogenous half-life was determined in five rats by giving an i.v. injection of rat GH-releasing factor followed after 10 min by an i.v. injection of long-acting somatostatin analogue (octreotide) and taking blood samples for 85 min. The half-lives (mean ± S.E.M.) were 3.4 ± 0.4 min and 13.2 ± 1.1 min for the first and second exponential respectively as determined by bi-exponential analysis. The exogenous GH half-life was determined in ten rats by giving i.v. octreotide followed after 10 min by i.v. rat GH and sampling for 85 min. The half-lives of exogenous GH were 3.3 ± 0.2 min and 17.5 ± 1.4 min by bi-exponential analysis and there was no significant difference between the half-lives of endogenous and exogenous GH. The half-life of the decline of GH levels at the end of spontaneous bursts in nine rats was 14.4 ± 0.9 min, not different from the half-life of endogenous GH, the secretion of which was terminated by octreotide. This suggests that the end of spontaneous GH bursts is marked by sudden cessation of GH release and may provide an indication of the rapidity of change in the levels of the underlying hypothalamic hormones which control GH release.