The effect of nilvadipine, a dihydropyridine type calcium channel blocker, on local cerebral blood flow (lCBF) was investigated using the autoradiographic iodo[14C]antipyrine technique in rats. In control rats, lCBF in cortical areas and in the superior colliculus and inferior colliculus was higher than that in the hippocampus, septal nucleus, globus pallidus and substantia nigra. Nilvadipine (32 micrograms/kg, i.v.) increased lCBF in all structures (significantly in 11 of 21 structures) in spite of a 33% reduction in mean arterial blood pressure. These results confirm that nilvadipine has the ability to increase cerebral blood flow.