l-Isoproterenol (l-ISO), a specific agonist of beta-adrenergic receptors, evoked a prompt rise of prolactin (PRL) release from superfused anterior pituitary cell aggregates established in culture for 5 days. The effect was concentration-dependent between 1 and 100 nM. d-Isoproterenol was more than 2 orders of magnitude weaker than the l-isomer. When dopamine receptors were blocked with domperidone, PRL secretion was also stimulated by l-epinephrine (E) and l-norepinephrine (NE), the rank order of potency being l-ISO greater than E much greater than NE. Under the latter conditions dopamine and the alpha-adrenergic agonists, clonidine and phenylephrine, had no stimulatory effect at 1 microM. Stimulation of PRL release by l-ISO and E was blocked by the beta-receptor antagonist, propranolol, but not by the alpha-receptor blocker, prazosin.