In most arterial beds a significant endothelium-dependent dilation to various stimuli persists even after inhibition of nitric oxide synthase and cyclo-oxygenase. This dilator response is preceded by an endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization of vascular smooth muscle cells, which is sensitive to a combination of the calcium-dependent potassium-channel inhibitors charybdotoxin and apamin, and is assumed to be mediated by an unidentified endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factor (EDHF). Here we show that the induction of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2C8/34 in native porcine coronary artery endothelial cells by beta-naphthoflavone enhances the formation of 11,12-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid, as well as EDHF-mediated hyperpolarization and relaxation. Transfection of coronary arteries with CYP 2C8/34 antisense oligonucleotides results in decreased levels of CYP 2C and attenuates EDHF-mediated vascular responses. Thus, a CYP-epoxygenase product is an essential component of EDHF-mediated relaxation in the porcine coronary artery, and CYP 2C8/34 fulfils the criteria for the coronary EDHF synthase.