Activation of protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) produces a dual action, apamin-sensitive relaxation followed by contraction, in the rat duodenal smooth muscle, which is partially dependent on activation of L-type Ca2+ channels, protein kinase C (PKC) or tyrosine kinase (TK), and resistant to tetrodotoxin. The present study further characterized the PAR-1-mediated duodenal responses. Removal of extracellular Ca2+ as well as SK&F96365 reduced the contraction due to the PAR-1 agonist TFLLR-NH2 (TFp-NH2) by 60-80% that was similar to the extent of the inhibition by nifedipine. Lowering of the extracellular Na+ concentration, but not IAA-94, a Cl- channel inhibitor, reduced both the PAR-1-mediated contraction and relaxation by about 50%. U73122, a phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor, or wortmannin, a phosphatidyl inositol 3'-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, significantly reduced the PAR-1-mediated contraction, but not the relaxation, by itself, as the PKC inhibitor GF109203X and the TK inhibitor genistein did. U73122 or wortmannin, like GF109203X, when applied in combination with genistein, significantly reduced the PAR-1-mediated relaxation. The relaxation was resistant to antagonists of PACAP receptors, VIP receptors and P2 purinoceptors. Thus, the PAR-1-mediated contraction is considered to be dependent on intracellular and extracellular Ca2+, the influx of the latter being induced through activation of L-type Ca2+ channels triggered by the enhanced Na+ permeability, and that PLC and PI3K, in addition to PKC and TK, are involved in the PAR-1-mediated dual responses. Furthermore, non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic nerve neurotransmitter candidates that may modulate K+ channels do not appear to contribute to the relaxation by PAR-1 activation.