An in vitro preparation was used to examine the discharge of low pressure receptors in response to a pulsatile pressure stimulus. Both slowly adapting and rapidly adapting receptors were examined. After an increase in the mean level and/or dP/dt of a pulsatile pressure input, the discharge of slowly adapting receptors reached a steady state level within 2 minutes. An increase in mean pressure, with constant pulsatile amplitude and dP/dt, produced a sustained increase in the number of spikes/cycle, in the average number of spikes/second, and in the average frequency during the burst within the cycle. In slowly adapting receptors, an increase in dP/dt at a constant mean pressure and pulsatile amplitude produced a decrease in the number of spikes/cycle and an increase in both the average number of spikes/second and the frequency during the burst. Rapidly adapting receptors showed very different characteristics, responding to a pulsatile pressure input above threshold with an irregular discharge which averages approximately 1 spike/cycle at all mean pressure levels. Although rapidly adapting receptors transiently increased their discharge in response to an increase in mean pressure, within 60 seconds discharge returned to the pre-increase level. Rapidly adapting receptors continued to discharge with an average of 1 spike/cycle as dP/dt was increased. Since dP/dt was raised by increasing the frequency of the pulsatile input, the number of spikes/second increased. In the steady state, slowly adapting receptors transmit information reflecting mean pressure levels. They are also sensitive to the rate of change of pressure. Rapidly adapting receptors, on the other hand, are insensitive to mean pressure but do respond to the frequency of the stimulus.