The effect of calmodulin inhibitors, N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalene sulfonamide (W-7) and trifluoperazine, on TSH-induced thyroid hormone secretion from rat thyroid was examined in vivo and in vitro. The ip administration of 5 mg W-7 to the rat inhibited T4 and T3 secretion from rat thyroids at 2, 3, and 4 h after the ip injection of 2 IU TSH, and so did the ip injection of trifluoperazine at 3 and 4 h. However, the ip injection of N-(6-aminohexyl)-1-naphthalene sulfonamide as a control substance did not show any significant inhibition of T4 and T3 release. To identify the site of action of calmodulin, the effect of W-7 on (Bu)2cAMP-induced thyroid hormone secretion was tested in vitro. One hundred micromolar W-7 completely inhibited T4 release from the rat thyroid when it was enhanced by TSH or (Bu)2cAMP, suggesting that the inhibitory effect of W-7 is subsequent to cAMP formation. These results suggest that calmodulin may play a role in thyroid hormone secretion from the thyroid, acting beyond cAMP formation.