The present investigation was carried out to evaluate alterations in oxidative stress parameter [lipid peroxidation (LPx)] and antioxidant enzyme activities [superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx)] in rat brainstem in response to neonatal hypothyroidism during development (from birth to 7, 15 and 30 days old) and adulthood (90 days old). Hypothyroidism in rats was induced by feeding the lactating mothers (from the day of parturition till weaning, 25 days old) or directly to the pups with 0.05 % [6-n-propyl 2-thiouracil (PTU)] in drinking water. Increased level of LPx was observed in brainstem of 7 days old hypothyroid rats, accompanied by augmented activities of SOD and GPx. In 15 and 30 days old hypothyroid rat brainstem, a significant decline in LPx was observed. Significantly increased activities of CAT and GPx were observed in 15 and 30 days PTU-treated rats. Decreased level of LPx was observed in brainstem of rats treated with PTU from birth to 30 days followed by withdrawal up to 90 days of age (transient hypothyroidism) as compared to control and persistent treatment of PTU up to 90 days of age. Activities of CAT and GPx were decreased in persistent hypothyroid rats of 90 days old with respect to control and transient hypothyroid rats. On the other hand, SOD activity was decreased in both persistent and transient hypothyroid rats with respect to control rats. These results suggest that the PTU-induced neonatal hypothyroidism modulates the antioxidant defence system during postnatal development and adulthood in brainstem of rats.