The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of thyroid deficiency on cerebellar development with mouse endocrine genetic models. Four types of mutant mice, the growth hormone- and thyroid hormone-deficient Snell dwarf mouse (dw/dw), the growth hormone- deficient little mouse (lit/lit), the primary hypothyroid mouse (hyt/hyt), and the congenital genital goiter mouse (cog/cog) were analyzed for expression of the glial enzyme marker glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPDH) and several other marker proteins. GPDH expression, as determined by enzyme activity and Northern blot analysis, was reduced by about 50% in the cerebellum and brainstem of the three hypothyroid mutant mice. No reduced expression was found in any region of the brain of the growth hormone-deficient lit/lit mutant. Visualization of GPDH by immunohistology showed that the immunoreactive enzyme was strikingly reduced in the Bergmann glial cells of dw/dw, hyt/hyt, and cog/cog mutant mice, particularly in the radial glial processes. To evaluate the specificity of the effect on GPDH expression, we also examined the expression of the glial cell-specific S-100 protein by immunohistology. In all mutant cerebella, both the intensity and pattern of staining of the Bergmann glial cells were indistinguishable from that of normal controls, suggesting that the Bergmann glial cells are morphologically normal in the hypothyroid mice. The morphology of the Purkinje cell neurons was similarly visualized by immunohistology using an antiserum specific for the microtubule-associated proteins. Surprisingly, the morphology of the Purkinje cell dendritic arborization also appeared unaltered in the hypothyroid mice. The results suggest that the morphological development of the mouse cerebellum is relatively unaffected by hypothyroidism.