The concentration of cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (c-AMP) in Escherichia coli growing on different sources of carbon was studied. Cultures utilizing a source of carbon that supported growth relatively poorly had consistently higher concentrations of c-AMP than did cultures utilizing sugars that supported rapid growth. This relationship was also observed in strains defective in c-AMP phosphodiesterase and simultaneously resistant to catabolite repression; in such strains the c-AMP concentration was slightly higher for several sources of carbon tested. Cultures continued to synthesize c-AMP and secreted it into the medium, under conditions that brought about an inhibition of the intracellular accumulation of the cyclic nucleotide. Transient repression of the synthesis of beta-galactosidase was not associated with an abrupt decrease in the cellular concentration of c-AMP.