Natriuretic peptides suppress adrenergic neurotransmission by a mechanism apparently involving the natriuretic peptide receptor-C (NPR-C) rather than particulate guanylyl cyclase receptors. The bulk of evidence implicating the NPR-C in neuromodulatory effects relies on the pharmacological specificity of peptides believed to be specific for the NPR- C. This study tests for NPR-C effects on neurotransmitter release by examining fragments of the receptor for biological activity in pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells permeabilized with digitonin. A pentadecapeptide segment of the cytoplasmic portion of the NPR-C mimicked the effect of natriuretic peptides to suppress dopamine efflux evoked by calcium approximately 40%. Furthermore, an antibody generated against the pentadecapeptide fragment abolished the neuromodulatory effect of C-type natriuretic peptide in permeabilized cells. In contrast, the carboxy terminal nonadecapeptide portion of the NPR-C failed to attenuate dopamine efflux. These data are consistent with the proposed role of the NPR-C in transducing the biological activity of natriuretic peptides in adrenergic tissue. The most novel aspect of these observations involves the potency of the small cytosolic region of the NPR-C with the region closest to the membrane accounting for neuromodulatory effects.