1. ATP exerts multiple receptor-mediated effects on isolated hepatocytes: glycogenolysis through the activation of glycogen phosphorylase (cAMP-independent, IP3/calcium-mediated), inactivation of glycogen synthase, inhibition of the glucagon effect on cAMP, activation of phospholipase D. The fact that some of these effects can be selectively altered and that they are not, or differently, reproduced by some other analogues of ATP, suggests the presence of more than one receptor. (i) Pertussis toxin abolishes the anti-glucagon effect of ATP without affecting its glycogenolytic effect. (ii) Single cell calcium measurements reveal major differences between ATP and ADP, (iii) 2MeSATP and ADP beta S, in clear contrast to ATP, barely increase the levels of IP3 and their glycogenolytic effects is completely blocked by phorbol ester treatment of hepatocytes. (iv) 2MeSATP differs from ADP beta S since it has no anti-glucagon effect. 2. Effects of UTP on isolated hepatocytes so far do not show any difference with effects of ATP, suggesting interaction with the same receptor(s). 3. It is proposed that liver plasma membranes contain (at least) three different receptors mediating (a) the activation of phospholipase C, (b) the activation of phospholipase D and (c) the inhibition of adenylate cyclase.