1. Compound ganglionic potentials evoked by stimulation of the preganglionic nerves to the superior cervical ganglion of the rabbit were recorded by the sucrose-gap method.2. When the distal part of the ganglion was bathed in flowing isotonic sucrose solution or sodium-deficient solutions, ganglionic action potentials were no longer evoked, only large synaptic potentials.3. The compound synaptic potential, which remained unaltered for more than 1 h, originated in a population of cells at the interface between the Krebs and sucrose solutions. Hexamethonium reduced the size but did not alter the time course of the synaptic potential.4. It is suggested that a higher concentration of sodium ions is required for the generation of ganglionic action potentials than for either conduction in the postganglionic axons or production of synaptic potentials.5. When lithium replaced sodium in the solution bathing the distal part of the ganglion, the synaptic potential was greatly reduced in amplitude. Impulse propagation in the postganglionic axons was only slightly impaired when lithium replaced sodium in the solution bathing the axons.6. A quantitative assessment of the potency of the ganglion-blocking drugs nicotine, pentolinium, hexamethonium and pempidine was made by measuring the depression of the synaptic potentials produced by bathing the distal part of the ganglion in flowing isotonic sucrose solution. The concentrations which produced a 50% depression were 8.1 muM nicotine, 26.5 muM pentolinium, 111 muM hexamethonium and 22.2 muM pempidine.