Studies were made on the effect of thyroid hormones on the level of acetylcholine receptors (AChR) in cultured rat skeletal muscle. Treatment of differentiated myotubes in vitro with thyroxine (T4; 2 x 10-7 mol/l) for 2-3 days caused a marked decrease in the amount of AChR (P < 0.05) and an increase in activity of Na+-K+-ATPase (P < 0.05). There was no significant effect of hormone treatment on other muscle proteins, such as creatine kinase and acetylcholinesterase. Measurements of the turnover rate of AChR in T4-treated myotubes showed only a very slight effect of T4 on the rate of AChR degradation. To study the mechanism by which the hormone exerts its effect, muscle cells were labelled with radioactive amino acid and the rate of its incorporation into AChR protein was measured. The AChR was then isolated using anti-AChR antibodies. The specific activity of labelled AChR was lower in hormone-treated cells. These experiments suggest that the decreased level of AChR in response to thyroid hormone treatment is due to a partial suppression of receptor synthesis.