Abstract. Biosynthesis and secretion of LH were investigated using primary cultures of rat gonadotropes following exposure to swainsonine, an inhibitor of N-linked oligosaccharide processing. The inhibition of terminal glycosylation by swainsonine was assessed by the increase in incorporation of [3H]mannose and the decrease of incorporation of [3H]galactose into the trichloroacetic acid-insoluble and anti-ovine LHβ immunoprecipitable fractions. This inhibitor led to an increase in cellular LH with high affinity for concanavalin A and a decrease of LH with less affinity for the lectin, although the cellular LH was not decreased. The swainsonine-treated cells accumulated highly basic LH (pI, 9.6, 10.0) in a time-dependent manner. Although the treated cells showed a decrease in the responsiveness to hormonal stimulation, there were no differenes in the rate and extent of LH secretion induced by maximal stimulation with 100 nmol/I GnRH between the control and treated cells over 24 h. The accumulation of highly basic LH molecules did not result from a decrease in their secretion, since they were secreted in the presence and absence of GnRH. It is concluded that significant changes in N-linked oligosaccharide structure of LH have no effect upon its secretion.