Distribution of adenylate cyclase and guanylate cyclase activities in neuronal perikarya and glial cells separated from rat brain, and cellular differences in activation between of adenylate cyclase by NaF and of guanylate cyclase by NaN3 have been studied. Adenylate cyclase activity was higher in the glial cells than in the neuronal fraction, while guanylate cyclase activity was equally detected in both cell fractions. Adenylate cyclase was mainly derived from the particulate fraction of both brain cell homogenates, whereas the major portion of guanylate cyclase activity was found in their soluble rather than in the particulate fractions. Although bulk-separated neurons and glial cells almost failed to change intracellular cyclic nucleotide levels in response to some putative neurotransmitters, activation of adenylate cyclase by NaF was found to be greater in neuronal than in glial cell fractions, and was observed more clearly in the soluble than in the particulate fractions. Sodium azide greatly increased guanylate cyclase in the particulate fraction, but did not affect it considerably in the soluble one. Addition of catalase to the reaction mixture together with NaN3 further stimulated guanylate cyclase both int he soluble and the particulate fractions. These results suggest that adenylate cyclase and guanylate cyclase without intimate coupling to the transmitter-receptor system, but with activation by NaF or NaN3, may be distributed ubiquitously in the cells separated from rat cerebral cortex.