The antibody microprobe technique was used to study the release of immunoreactive dynorphin A within the lower lumbar spinal cord of anaesthetised cats. A basal release was observed in the dorsal horn, centered in the region of lamina I, but was abolished by spinal cord transection at the thoracolumbar junction. Release of dynorphin A in the lamina I region was evoked by high-frequency electrical stimulation of unmyelinated primary afferent fibres, whereas stimulation of myelinated (including A delta) afferents was ineffective. Evidence was also obtained for release in laminae V-VI and at the spinal cord surface. These results suggest that in the lumbar spinal cord of the cat, dynorphin A is released in the superficial dorsal horn by impulses in descending pathways and in somatic unmyelinated primary afferent fibres.