The steady-state conductance of planar bimolecular lipid membranes (BLMs) modified with rat olfactory epithelial homogenate (ROH) becomes sensitive to very low concentrations of odorant in the presence of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and guanosine triphosphate (GTP). The chemosensitivity is not observed when ATP and GTP are absent. Adenosine 3',5'monophosphate (cAMP) mimics the effect of the odorant. Effects of odorants and cAMP are dose dependent. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that cAMP is a second messenger in the initial steps of olfactory transduction.