The present studies were performed in order to examine the possible role of cyclic GMP-stimulated phosphodiesterase (cGMP-PDE) activity in the inhibitory action of the inflammatory peptide bradykinin on cyclic AMP (cAMP) accumulation in D384 cells. Bradykinin decreased the forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation in the presence of the phosphodiesterase inhibitor rolipram, and caused a transient 50% rise in cellular cGMP in the presence of the nonselective PDE inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX). Both basal and bradykinin-stimulated cGMP accumulation were about 8 times higher in the presence of IBMX than in the presence of rolipram. Sodium nitroprusside, which caused a 20-70-fold increase in cGMP levels reduced forskolin stimulated cAMP accumulation, whereas hydroxylamine, which maximally caused a 16-fold increase in cGMP, did not. 8-bromo-cGMP or dibutyryl cGMP had no effect on cAMP accumulation induced by forskolin. The inhibitory effect of nitroprusside was totally reversed by blocking the soluble guanylate cyclase activity by methylene blue treatment; however, the inhibitory action of bradykinin on cAMP accumulation was not changed by this treatment. Additionally, inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis, which is known to be regulated by Ca2+ and in turn stimulates cGMP production, by N omega-nitro-L-arginine (L-NAME) treatment did not alter the inhibitory effect of bradykinin on forskolin-induced cAMP accumulation. These results indicate that large increases in cGMP may regulate cAMP via cGMP-PDE whereas the small increase induced by bradykinin is insufficient and that cGMP is not involved in the inhibitory action of bradykinin on cAMP levels in D384 cells.