The tripeptide hormone, TRH, is metabolized by three enzymes, the most specific of which is pyroglutamyl peptide hydrolase-II (also termed thyroliberinase), a metalloenzyme present in serum and brain. Because pyroglutamyl peptidase-II activity in rat serum is regulated by thyroid hormone levels, we tested the hypothesis that this activity is similarly altered in humans. We studied serum pyroglutamyl peptidase-II activity in 6 patients with hyperthyroidism, 18 patients with hypothyroidism, and 31 euthyroid, normal weight volunteers. Because TRH [or its metabolite cyclo(His-Pro)] is believed to be an important hormone regulating appetite and metabolism, we also evaluated pyroglutamyl peptidase-II activity in 27 euthyroid patients with obesity. Serum pyroglutamyl peptidase-II activity was elevated in patients with hypothyroidism (mean ± SEM, 33.9 ± 3.7 nmol/mL.h) compared to that in euthyroid, normal weight volunteers (24.5 ± 2.8 nmol/mL.h; P < 0.05), but not that in patients with hyperthyroidism (28.3 ± 4.1 nmol/mL.h; P = NS). Euthyroid obese patients had the highest pyroglutamyl peptidase-II activity (43.6 ± 2.8 nmol/mL.h; P < 0.0001 vs. normal weight volunteers). Pyroglutamyl peptidase-II activity was positively correlated with body mass index (r2 = 0.30; P < 0.0001). After correction for body mass index, there were no difference in pyroglutamyl peptidase-II activity in hypothyroid, hyperthyroid, and euthyroid individuals. We conclude that serum pyroglutamyl peptidase-II activity is regulated by, or regulates, body weight.