In euryhaline fishes, atrial and B-type natriuretic peptides are important hormones in hypo-osmoregulation, whereas osmoregulatory functions of C-type natriuretic peptides (CNPs) remain to be investigated. Although four CNP isoforms (CNP1-4) are mainly expressed in the brain, multiorgan expression of CNP3 was found in euryhaline Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica. Here we identified the CNP3-expressing cells and examined their response to osmotic stress in eel. CNP3 was expressed in several endocrine cells: prolactin-producing cells (pituitary), glucagon-producing cells (pancreas), and cardiomyocytes (heart). Pituitary CNP3 expression was the highest among organs and was decreased following seawater transfer, followed by a decrease in the freshwater-adaptating (hyper-osmoregulatory) hormone prolactin. We also showed the negative correlation between CNP3/prolactin expression in the pituitary and plasma Cl- concentration, but not for plasma Na+ concentration. These results suggest that CNP3 in the pituitary (and pancreas) plays a critical role in freshwater adaptation of euryhaline eel together with prolactin.