In developmentally competent Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae, binding of cAMP to high-affinity surface receptors produces a rapid activation of adenylate cyclase which adapts within minutes. The result is a transient increase in intracellular cAMP which is rapidly secreted. Adenosine inhibited this cAMP signaling response with an apparent Ki of 300 μM. The apparent Ki's for 2′-O-methyladenosine and 2-chloroadenosine were approximately 30 and 100 μM, respectively. Inhibition by adenosine was rapid, reversible, and depended on the cAMP stimulus concentration. In addition, the adaptation of the cAMP signaling response was blocked by adenosine. As has been previously reported, adenosine inhibits cAMP binding to intact cells. Under the same developmental conditions as in the perfusion studies, we find the binding inhibition depends on both the cAMP and adenosine concentrations, with an apparent Ki of 100 μM. The apparent Ki's for 2′-O-methyl- and 2-chloroadenosine were approximately 8 and 35 μM, respectively. However, with cells developed for short times and with an axenic strain, inhibition was independent of cAMP concentration or cells showed mixed-type binding inhibition. The effect of adenosine on the cAMP signaling response is consistent with the reported effects of adenosine on other cAMP-mediated processes such as chemotaxis and the increase in intracellular cGMP, and may provide an explanation for the reported inhibition of center formation. © 1984.