Addition of theophylline to primary cultures of rat hepatocytes in which tyrosine aminotransferase had been preinduced with dexamethasone caused a further increase in specific activity of the enzyme. This increase was due in part to a reduction in the rate of tyrosine aminotransferase degradation that began about 2 hr after theophylline was added. The level of cGMP also increased with a similar time lag following the addition of theophylline. The concentration of theophylline which produced the above effects (1 mM) did not alter the rate of general protein degradation in hepatocytes. Addition of 8-bromo-cGMP (0.5 mM) resulted in an immediate reduction in the rate of tyrosine aminotransferase degradation and in an increase in the activity of the enzyme. Treating hepatocytes with MnCl2 (0.9 mM) caused an elevation of cGMP and a concomitant slowing of tyrosine aminotransferase degradation without changing the level of cAMP significantly. These results suggest an inverse relationship between the level of cGMP and the rate of tyrosine aminotransferase degradation in hepatocytes.