The relationships of prolactin (PRL) and LH messenger (m) RNA to serum and pituitary content were determined for turkey hens at different phases of the reproductive cycle. In the nonphotostimulated, reproductively inactive hen, serum and pituitary PRL content and pituitary PRL mRNA levels were low. All three PRL values rose after photostimulation and peaked during the incubation phase. Relative to nonphotostimulated hens, hyperprolactinemic incubating hens showed 220-, 11-, and 57-fold increases in serum PRL, pituitary PRL content, and pituitary PRL mRNA levels, respectively. These peak levels declined 80-, 3-, and 6-fold, respectively, in photorefractory hens. In contrast to PRL levels, serum LH, pituitary LH, and pituitary LH β-subunit mRNA levels did not change as dramatically. Serum LH showed no significant changes for the different reproductive phases. Pituitary LH peaked after photostimulation and declined to its lowest level in incubating hens. Pituitary LH-β mRNA abundance was highest in photostimulated and laying hens and lowest in incubating and photorefractory hens. These results demonstrate that the abundance of LH-β and PRL mRNA shows an inverse relationship in photostimulated/laying and incubating turkey hens.