1. The effects of mu- and K-opiate receptor agonists on plasma concentrations of immunoreactive (ir) oxytocin (OXY) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) in normally hydrated and water-deprived rats were studied. 2. Water-deprivation for 36 h elevated both plasma ir-OXY and ir-AVP concentrations of Long-Evans rats. These elevated levels were lowered in a dose-dependent manner after subcutaneous administration of bremazocine (3-10 micrograms/kg), M320 (10-100 micrograms/kg) or morphine (0.1-10 mg/kg). Comparable reductions of plasma concentrations of ir-AVP and ir-OXY were observed. 3. Plasma concentrations of ir-OXY and ir-AVP of normally hydrated Long-Evans rats were lower after subcutaneous administration of bremazocine (10 micrograms/kg), M320 (10 micrograms/kg) and morphine (1.0 mg/kg). 4. These data suggest that both mu- and K-opiate receptor agonists inhibit both OXY and AVP release from the neurohypophysis of rats.