In teleost fish, dopaminergic interplexiform cells provide an intraretinal centrifugal pathway from the inner to the outer plexiform layer, where they make abundant synapses on cone-related horizontal cells. The interplexiform cells receive all their input in the inner plexiform layer from centrifugal fibers and amacrine cells. In fish, centrifugal fibers contain gonadotropin hormone-releasing hormone (GnRH)-like and FMRFamide-like peptides (Munz et al., 1982; Stell et al., 1984), whereas amacrine cells contain a variety of neuroactive substances, including a number of peptides. In this study, we examined the effects of GnRH, FMRFamide, bicuculline, and enkephalin on horizontal cell activity in the white perch retina in an attempt to understand the synaptic inputs to the interplexiform cells. When the retina was superfused with Ringer's solution containing GnRH, horizontal cells depolarized (approximately 10 mV), and their responses to small spots increased, whereas their responses to full-field lights decreased. Thus, GnRH closely mimicked the effects of dopamine on horizontal cells. The GnRH antagonist [D-Phe2, Pro3, D-Phe6]-GnRH blocked the effects of GnRH, as did haloperidol. GnRH also had no effect on horizontal cells in retinas treated with 6-hydroxydopamine. The results indicate that GnRH acts by stimulating the release of dopamine from interplexiform cells. FMRFamide alone produced no changes on either the membrane potential or light responses of horizontal cells, but it did suppress the effects of GnRH on horizontal cells in some experiments. FRMFamide also reversed the effects of prolonged darkness on horizontal cell responses. When bicuculline was applied to the retina, horizontal cells also depolarized (approximately 10 mV), responses to full-field illumination decreased, and responses to small spots increased. Most of the effects of bicuculline were suppressed by haloperidol, indicating that bicuculline also stimulates the release of dopamine from interplexiform cells. Similar results were obtained when [D-Ala2]-met-enkephalinamide was applied to the retina; horizontal cells depolarized (approximately 10 mV), responses to full-field stimuli decreased, and responses to the light spots increased. On the other hand, [D-Ala2]-leuenkephalinamide and [D-Ala2, D-Leu5]-enkephalin had no effects on horizontal cells. Both haloperidol and naloxone blocked the effects of [D-Ala2]-met-enkephalinamide on horizontal cells, indicating that [D-Ala2]-met-enkephalinamide stimulates dopamine release from interplexiform cells via specific opiate receptors.