Following exposure of rats to unpredictable stress there was a marked increase in the number of 'coated' vesicles in contact with or close to the cell membrane of the zona fasciculata cells. The close correlation between the vesicle numbers and the plasma levels of corticosterone led to the hypothesis that the coated vesicles were intimately involved in the secretory process. The use of horseradish peroxidase as a tracer protein confirmed that the coated vesicles were not involved in pinocytosis and the inward movement of materials, this function being performed by a much larger uncoated vesicle. The presence of microtubules associated with the coated vesicles and radiating through the Golgi body region, the site of formation of the vesicles, suggested that they may be involved in the transport of the secretory product to the cell membrane. The use of microtubule inhibitors, colchicine and vinblastine, were found to significantly reduce the plasma steroid response to stress. On the basis of these findings a new secretory mechanism was postulated.