Benzamides or thioxanthenes were tested as potential antagonists of the cyclic AMP accumulation induced by 10(-4) M dopamine in intact rabbit retinae in vitro in the presence of 5 to 7 mM theophylline. The neuroleptic sulpiride (10(-4) M) was found to be totally inactive whereas a substituted benzamide (clebopride) had small but significant antagonist effect at the same concentration. Among thioxanthenes, isomers of cisconfiguration, which are potent neuroleptics, completely inhibit the cyclic AMP accumulation induced by dopamine, in contrast to trans-isomers which had no inhibitory effects. These data would confirm that retina in vitro is another suitable model for screening antipsychotic activity of classical neuroleptics and that the mechanism of action of sulpiride still needs further investigation.