In intact guinea pig ventricles, acetylcholine (ACH) has been shown to attenuate the positive inotropic effects of isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX), a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, by reducing protein phosphorylation without altering cAMP levels. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the cAMP-independent inhibitory action of ACH is also evident in isolated cardiomyocytes. cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) activity ratio (-cAMP/+cAMP) and phosphorylation of phospholamban (PLB) were determined in unlabeled and 32P-labeled guinea pig ventricular cardiomyocytes, respectively. IBMX increased PKA activity ratio and phosphorylation of PLB in a dose-dependent manner. When cardiomyocytes were incubated simultaneously with IBMX (0–1 mM) and ACH (2 μM), ACH attenuated PLB phosphorylation stimulated by low concentration (10–100 μM) but not by high concentrations (> 200 μM) of IBMX. EC50 value for IBMX-induced phosphorylation of PLB was 32 ± 6 μM and increased nearly 3-fold after addition of ACH while PKA activity ratio remained unchanged. The rank order of cyclic nucleotide derivatives to phosphorylate PLB was 8 bromo-cAMP > dibutyryl cAMP > 8 bromo-cGMP > dibutyryl cGMP. ACH reduced phosphorylation of PLB stimulated by 8 bromo-cAMP. We conclude that in isolated cardiomyocytes (1) ACH inhibits phosphorylation of PLB stimulated by either IBMX or 8 bromo-cAMP and (2) ACH does not lower IBMX-stimulated PKA activity ratio. These effects of ACH on PLB phosphorylation cannot be explained by a reduction in IBMX-stimulated cAMP levels but may involve the activation of protein phosphatases.