Na+,K+-ATPase activity is abundant on the basolateral infoldings of the strial marginal cells and contributes to the maintenance of the characteristic electrolyte composition of the endolymph. However, the stria vascularis of the cochlea is known not to be innervated. In order to clarify its humoral regulation by serotonin, the K+-p-nitrophenylphosphatase activity of strial marginal cells was investigated with a cerium-based method in normal guinea pigs and in guinea pigs treated with reserpine, 5-hydroxytryptamine or reserpine plus 5-hydroxytryptamine. K+-p-nitrophenylphosphatase activity was almost completely depressed 3–20 days after reserpine administration. Ten days after reserpinization, followed by repeated 5-hydroxytryptamine treatment, the enzyme activity was detectable. These results suggest that 5-hydroxytryptamine increases the phosphatase activity. Thus, the function of the stria vascularis in producing cochlear endolymph may be regulated by 5-hydroxytrypt amine.