The effects of GHRP-2 (also named KP102), a new growth hormone-releasing peptide, on the release of growth hormone (GH) and growth performance were examined in swine. The single intravenous (i. v.) injection of GHRP-2 at doses of 2, 10, 30 and 100 microg/kg body weight (BW) to cross-bred castrated male swine stimulated GH release in a dose-dependent manner, with a return to the baseline by 120 min. The peak GH concentrations and GH areas under the response curves (GH AUCs) for 180 min after the injections of GHRP-2 were higher (P < 0.05) than those after the injection of saline. The GH responses to repeated i.v. injections of GHRP-2 (30 microg/kg BW) at 2-h intervals for 6 h were decreased after each injection. The chronic subcutaneous (s.c.) administration of GHRP-2 (30 microg/kg BW) once daily for 30 days consistently stimulated GH release. The GH AUCs for 300 min after the injections on d 1, 10 and 30 of treatment in GHRP-2-treated swine were higher than those in saline-treated swine. However, chronic administration of GHRP-2 caused a partial attenuation of GH response between d 1 and 10 of treatment. The chronic s.c. administration of GHRP-2 also increased average daily gain for the entire treatment period by 22.35% (P < 0.05) and feed efficiency (feed/gain) by 20.64% (P < 0.01) over the saline control values, but did not significantly affect daily feed intake. These results indicate that GHRP-2 stimulates GH release and enhancing growth performance in swine.