Abstract. We have evaluated the effect of acute administration of pyridostigmine bromide, a cholinesterase inhibitor, on the GHRH-induced GH rise in 11 obese children and in 8 age-matched controls. The GH response to GHRH (hpGRF 1–40, 1 μg/kg iv), evaluated both as maximum GH peak and as integrated area under the curve, was significantly lower in the obese children than in the controls. Pretreatment with pyridostigmine bromide (60 mg orally 60 min before the GHRH injection) significantly increased both baseline GH levels and the GH response to GHRH in all the obese subjects, so that their mean baseline GH, peak GH levels and integrated area under the curve after pyridostigmine bromide plus GHRH were similar to those of the control children after GHRH. Also in control children pyridostigmine bromide increased (though not significantly) baseline GH levels, and caused a significant augmentation of the GH response to GHRH. Mean peak GH levels and mean integrated area under the curve after pyridostigmine bromide plus GHRH were significantly higher in the controls than in the obese children given the same treatment. Mean baseline Sm-C levels were significantly higher in the obese than in control children. These data show that enhancement of cholinergic neurotransmission, likely in the hypothalamus, counteracts the blunted GH response to GHRH present in the obese children, and that in simple obesity the potential of the pituitary to make a secretory response to a direct GH secretagogue is preserved.