The frequency-dependence of secretion of arginine vasopressin (AVP) from the mouse neural lobe in vitro was studied and found to be comparable to that reported for the rat neural lobe in vitro. For a stimulus train of 600 pulses, the secretion of AVP per pulse (i.e., facilitation) increased to a maximum at 20 Hz. Compound intracellular action potentials were recorded from the mouse neural lobe using optical recording methods and potentiometric dyes. These extrinsic optical signals reflect the true time courses of transmembrane potential changes (e.g., action potentials), and the action potentials recorded from mouse neural lobes had a duration of 5 ms; at half-maximum peak height. Optical recordings during repetitive stimulation showed that significant spike broadening occurred in each subsequent spike at 10 and 16 Hz stimulation. These data are consistent with a spike broadening hypothesis of frequency-dependent facilitation in the neural lobe. However, 4-aminopyridine, a drug which causes spike broadening in neural tissues by blocking potassium channels, did not produce an increase in secretion of AVP per stimulus from the mouse neural lobe.