Abstract The inducibility of retinal glutamine synthetase (GS) by dibutyryl cyclic-3′,5′-AMP (DB-cAMP) was re-examined in view of conflicting reports. Various lots of DB-cAMP were compared for a) ability to induce GS in cultures of embryonic chick neural retina, and b) their composition as visualized by paper chromatography. Chromatographically purified DB-cAMP did not induce retinal GS, nor did cAMP, DB-cGMP, epinephrine, or norepinephrine; none of these enhanced the induction of GS by hydrocortisone. Some of the agents occasionally caused small increases in GS activity; however, these were invariably below the GS levels induced consistently by hydrocortisone. A single lot of DB-cAMP was found which significantly raised GS activity in the retina; it contained a contaminant which when isolated was found to be responsible for this effect.