Recent developments in radioimmunoassay technology have made possible measurements of cyclic nucleotides in individual specimens of the organ of Corti and its subdivisions. Steep longitudinal and transverse gradients of glycogen are known to exist in the organ of Corti of the guinea pig, with preferential accumulation in the outer hair cells of the apical turns. However, no significant longitudinal gradient of cyclic AMP was detectable in the organ of Corti, and the concentration of the compound was found to be nearly equal in the inner and outer hair cell layers. This is indirect evidence against the concept that cyclic AMP plays a role as "second messenge" in the control of glycogen metabolism of the organ of Corti. By contrast, the concentration of cyclic GMP was found to be consistently higher in the inner layer than in the outer layer of the organ of Corti, and to increase significantly in basal direction. This trend is remarkably similar to the distribution patterns of acetylcholinesterase, which may be considered as indirect evidence in favor of a possible role of cyclic GMP in the mediation of cholinergic effects.