Chloroquine retinopathy is a severe toxic retinal impairment which may result in loss of vision by alterations of the retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptors. Currently, there is no specific treatment for this retinopathy. Platelet-activating factor (PAF) is known to modulate retinal function and is one of the major immunomediators of the retina. In order to test the possible involvement of PAF in chloroquine-induced retinopathy and the effectiveness of PAF antagonists in the prevention of this condition, we investigated the effects of BN 50730, a specific PAF antagonist, on the electroretinogram (ERG) of the isolated rat retina exposed to chloroquine. When retinas from normal rats were perfused with chloroquine (10<sup>-6</sup> M), a marked and rapid decrease in b-wave amplitude was observed. In contrast, chloroquine had no effect on the b-wave of the retina isolated from animals pretreated with the PAF antagonist BN 50730 (30 mg/kg/day, i.p., for 5 days). The results obtained indicate that (i) chloroquine is a toxic drug for retinal function, (ii) PAF plays a key role in the mediation of chloroquine retinopathy and (iii) PAF antagonists may constitute valuable agents for the treatment of this retinal impairment.