Chlorpromazine (5 x 10(-3) M) administered to Dictyostelium discoideum cells inhibited its growth and morphogenesis. Cells treated with chlorpromazine were found to have distorted morphology. At lower doses of chlorpromazine the development was delayed. Early developmental events such as cell streaming, cell aggregations, development of EDTA stable cell contacts, cAMP-chemotaxis etc, were inhibited. Chlorpromazine was also found to inhibit spore formation. Culturing D. discoideum cells on chlorpromazine agar, in supernatant taken from the chlorpromazine treated cells, or co-culturing of chlorpromazine-treated and control cells, inhibited the development of normal Dictyostelium cells. Chlorpromazine-treated cells showed a higher cAMP-dependent extracellular phosphodiesterase activity.