Effects of parathyroid hormone (PTH) upon cyclic AMP and calcium efflux in isolated renal cortical tubules from hamsters were investigated. PTH caused a rapid rise in cyclic AMP levels, temporally preceding an increase in calcium efflux. Increases in both cyclic AMP levels and calcium efflux were noted over an identical PTH concentration range 0.007--0.7 U/ml). Other peptide hormones tested which had no effect upon cyclic AMP levels did not enhance efflux of calcium. The phosphodiesterase inhibitor methyl isobutylxanthine (MIX) was utilized in other studies to potentiate the cyclic AMP response, and produce a range of cyclic AMP concentrations in response to PTH. In these experiments a range of calcium efflux responses was noted which closely paralleled changes in cyclic AMP. Direct addition of cyclic AMP or dibutyryl cyclic AMP to isolated renal tubules caused increased efflux of calcium, while addition of 5'-AMP did not. These results indicate a role for cyclic AMP as a mediator of PTH-induced calcium efflux in this system and suggest that cyclic AMP may mediate the action of this hormone in enhancing renal conservation of calcium in vivo.