It is well established that overt circadian rhythms are permanently disrupted following lesions of the hamster hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). In the present study, we show that implantations of brain grafts containing the fetal SCN reestablish circadian rhythms of locomotor activity in adult hamsters previously made arrhythmic by SCN lesions. The restoration of free-running rhythms in conditions of constant darkness is correlated with the presence in the graft of neuropeptides normally present in the SCN of unlesioned hamsters, including vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), and vasopressin (VP). In several recipients, grafts were found to receive retinal input, and appeared to send efferents into the host brain. Not all functions of the SCN were reinstated by the graft: animals with restored locomotor rhythms did not show gonadal regression in the absence of light, and failed to synchronize (entrain) to light intensities to which SCN-intact animals responded.