Pantethine, a cysteamine precursor, depletes somatostatin in the cerebral cortex and hypothalamus and prolactin in the anterior pituitary and hypothalamus. This study investigated the effect of pantethine on oxytocin and arginine vasopressin content in the posterior pituitary and hypothalamus. Male Long-Evans rats were injected intraperitoneally with escalating doses of pantethine (i.e., 146.7 mg, 293.4 mg and 586.6 mg/100 gm body weight). Hormone content was determined by radioimmunoassay. Three hours after pantethine treatment, the oxytocin content in the posterior pituitary and the hypothalamus was markedly reduced with all doses of the drug. Vasopressin content in the posterior pituitary and hypothalamus was decreased but to a lesser extent than oxytocin and only with the highest dose of pantethine. Pantethine may act to reduce oxytocin and vasopressin content through intracellular conversion to cysteamine. The exact mechanism of action of pantethine on oxytocin and vasopressin remains to be elucidated.