Intracellular levels of the second messengers, 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3)) were measured in the Malpighian tubules of Aedes aegypti following the in vitro application of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and the putative mosquito diuretic peptides, Culex salinarius diuresin and mosquito leucokinins (culekinin depolarizing peptides (CDPs) I, II, III, A. aegypti leucokinin peptides (ALPs) I, II, III). The C. salinarius diuresin significantly (p<0.05) increased tubule intracellular cAMP concentrations. Treatment of tubules with either 5-HT or CDP-II resulted in significant increases in both intracellular cAMP and IP(3) concentrations. All of the mosquito leucokinins, with the exception of CDP-I, significantly stimulated intracellular IP(3) in isolated tubules. These data suggest that the mosquito leucokinins may function on the Malpighian tubules of A. aegypti by increasing the intracellular Ca(2+) levels through the release of IP(3) sensitive Ca(2+) stores. The physiological relevance of these data to the regulation of mosquito Malpighian tubule function is discussed.