1. In the present study, we aimed to determine the involvement of brain thromboxane A2 (TXA2) in blood pressure decreases evoked by acute and/or graded haemorrhage in rats. 2. Sprague-Dawley rats were used throughout the study. Acute haemorrhage was achieved by withdrawing a total volume of 2.1 and 2.5 mL blood/100 g bodyweight over a period of 10 min. A microdialysis study was performed in a hypothalamic area to measure extracellular TXA2 levels. Graded haemorrhage was conducted successively by withdrawing carotid arterial blood (0.55 mL/100 g bodyweight) over a 10 s period four times (S1-S4) at 5 min intervals. Furegrelate (125, 250 and 500 μg), a TXA2 synthase inhibitor, was injected intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) 60 min before acute or graded haemorrhage was initiated. U-46619 (0.5, 1 and 2 μg, i.c.v.), a synthetic TXA2 analogue, was administered 5 min before acute haemorrhage (2.1 mL/100 g bodyweight). 3. Acute haemorrhage produced a severe and long-lasting decrease in blood pressure and had a tendency to increase heart rate. Both haemorrhage protocols (2.1 or 2.5 mL/100 g) generated similar approximate twofold increases in extracellular hypothalamic TXA2 levels. Intracerebroventricular furegrelate (250 μg) pretreatment completely blocked the TXA2 increases induced by acute haemorrhage. Furegrelate administration (100, 250 and 500 μg, i.c.v.) attenuated the fall in arterial pressure evoked by acute haemorrhage and caused significant increases in heart rate at all doses injected. 4. Graded haemorrhage progressively lowered arterial pressure and increased plasma vasopressin and adrenaline levels in the last period. Furegrelate-injected rats were greatly resistant to the hypotensive effect of haemorrhage for all degrees of blood removed. Plasma adrenaline and vasopressin levels were significantly elevated in furegrelate-pretreated rats compared with the saline-treated group during S2-S3 and S4, respectively. U-46619 administration caused small but statistically significant decreases in arterial pressure induced by haemorrhage. 4. The results show that acute hypotensive haemorrhage increases extracellular hypothalamic TXA2 levels. The increase in brain endogenous TXA2 levels involves a decrease in blood pressure evoked by haemorrhage because the blockade of TXA2 synthesis by furegrelate pretreatment attenuated the haemorrhagic hypotension. Increases in plasma adrenaline and vasopressin levels may mediate this effect. © 2005 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.