A bolus injection of almitrine bismesylate (0.5 mg.kg-1 i.v.) in anaesthetised artificially ventilated cats caused a significantly greater increase in carotid chemosensory discharge in animals with sectioned ipsilateral ganglioglomerular sympathetic nerves in comparison with a group in which these nerves were intact. Plasma levels of almitrine were similar in both groups. Responses to hypoxia and hypercapnia post-almitrine were also bigger if the ganglioglomerular nerves were cut. Domperidone (10-50 micrograms.kg-1 i.a), a dopamine D2 receptor antagonist, greatly increaed the responsiveness of chemoreceptors to almitrine in ganglioglomerular nerve-intact preparations. Almitrine-induced chemosensory activity was unaffected by illuminating the carotid bifurcation with light from a fibre optic lamp, regardless of whether or not the ganglioglomerular nerves were cut. It is concluded that almitrine may directly or indirectly activate an efferent pathway in the ganglioglomerular nerves to cause depression of chemoreceptor activity, possibly by releasing dopamine to act at D2 dopamine receptors in the carotid body.