Cells were isolated by sequential collagenase digestion from the parietal segments of one day old mice (Swiss albino BNL strain) and characterized for osteoblast parameters by alkaline phosphatase histochemistry and bovine parathyroid hormone (bPTH-(1-34] induced cAMP activity (protein binding assay). Phenytoin (DPH) reduced PTH stimulated cAMP activity nearly 3-fold in the presence and nearly 1.5-fold in the absence of added calcium. In the absence of PTH, DPH exerted no significant effect. Bay-K-8644, a calcium channel activator, appeared to approximate the PTH stimulation of cAMP activity, even in the presence of DPH. This study demonstrates that DPH has a direct effect on PTH stimulated cAMP activity in cultured murine osteoblasts.