Forskolin is a diterpene derivative of the plant Coleus forskohlii that stimulates adenylate cyclase activity without interacting with cell surface receptors. Forskolin lowers the intraocular pressure of rabbits, monkeys, and humans. In rabbits, net aqueous humor inflow decreases, outflow facility remains unchanged, and ciliary blood flow increases. Tolerance to the intraocular pressure lowering effect did not occur in rabbits after topical doses given every 6 hr for 15 days. In vitro forskolin activates adenylate cyclase of crude particulate homogenates prepared from cultured human ciliary epithelia or from dissected ciliary epithelial processes of rabbit or human eyes. This activation is not blocked by timolol. The stimulation of adenylate cyclase by isoproterenol in vitro is potentiated in the presence of forskolin. Forskolin represents a potentially useful class of antiglaucoma agents differing in molecular mechanism of action from previously used drugs.