The purpose of the study was to determine if OPC-12759 stimulates secretion from conjunctival goblet cells in culture and if it activates the EGF receptor (EGFR) and p44/p42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) to cause mucin secretion. Conjunctival goblet cells were cultured from pieces of male rat conjunctiva. OPC-12759 was added at increasing concentrations and for varying times to the cultured cells. The cholinergic agonist carbachol was used as a positive control. In selected experiments an inhibitor of the EGFR, AG1478, or an inhibitor of the kinase that activates MAPK, U0126, were added before OPC-12759. Goblet cell secretion of high molecular weight glycoconjugates was measured by an enzyme-linked lectin assay using the lectin UEA-1. Activation of the EGFR and MAPK were determined with Western blotting analysis using antibodies specific to the phosphorylated and the total amounts of these proteins. We found that OPC-12759 induced goblet cell secretion in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. Inhibition of the EGFR with AG1478 blocked secretion stimulated by OPC-12759. Inhibition of MAPK with U0126 also blocked secretion stimulated by OPC-12759. OPC-12759 increased the phosphorylation of the EGFR and MAPK in a time-dependent manner. We concluded that OPC-12759 stimulates secretion from cultured conjunctival goblet cells by activating the EGFR, which then induces MAPK activity.