Retinal on-bipolar cells possess specialized glutamate receptors which are coupled via a G-protein to the control of a cyclic GMP (cGMP) cascade. Whole-cell voltage clamp recordings were obtained from light-responsive on-bipolar cells in retinal slices of the dogfish. Inclusion of nitroprusside in the patch-pipette solution induced effects in on-bipolar cells which were consistent with a rise in intracellular cGMP and thus stimulation of guanylate cyclase (GC) activity. Conversely, the soluble GC inhibitors, methylene blue and ferricyanide, induced effects consistent with a fall in intracellular cGMP. Activators of particulate GC had no effect. We conclude that cGMP synthesis in on-bipolar cells is catalysed by a NO-sensitive cyclase.