Cis-unsaturated free fatty acids (FFA) like oleic acid are strong blockers of both basal and stimulated GH secretion in vivo by acting directly on the somatotroph cell. Several lines of evidence suggest that this inhibitory action is the result of a perturbation of the function of several plasma membrane integral proteins. It has been reported recently that cis-FFA are able to block several steps in the inositolphosphates/phospholipase C/Ca2+ (InsPs/PLC/Ca2+) signal transduction pathway triggered by the activation of the TRH receptor. In this paper we present evidence showing that the inhibition of growth hormone (GH) and prolactin (PRL) secretion by cis-FFA in vitro is also exerted at several different levels on the cAMP-protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) pathway triggered by the stimulation of the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) receptor in pituitary clonal cells. By means of a sequential analysis of signal transduction events, we observed that cis-unsaturated FFA: (1) reduce the activity of adenylate cyclase; (2) perturb the activity of protein kinase A; (3) suppress the VIP-triggered Ca2+ influx, and (4) do not perturb VIP binding or the homologous desensitization of the VIP receptor.