This study investigated the effects and selectivity of ONO-AE-248, ONO-DI-004, ONO-8711 and ONO-8713 on EP1 and EP3 receptors in human pulmonary vessels. The prostanoid receptors involved in the vasoconstriction of human pulmonary arteries (HPA) are TP and EP3 whereas in pulmonary veins (HPV), this response is associated with TP and EP1. The experiments were performed in presence of BAY u3405 (TP antagonist). ONO-DI-004 (EP1 agonist) and ONO-AE-248 (EP3 agonist), exhibited little or no activity in HPV whereas contractions were induced in HPA with ONO-AE-248. In HPV, the contractions produced with sulprostone (EP1,3 agonist) were blocked in a non competitive manner by both EP1 antagonists (ONO-8711, 30 microM; ONO-8713, 10 microM). The involvement of EP1 mediated contraction in HPV was also observed during the vasorelaxations induced with PGE1 and 5-cis-carba-PGI2. In pre-contracted HPV treated with AH6809 (30 microM; EP1 antagonist) the PGE1 vasorelaxations were potentiated, while unchanged in HPA. These results demonstrate the selectivity of ONO-AE-248 for the EP3 receptor in HPA, ONO-DI-004 was ineffective on the EP1 receptor present in HPV while ONO-8713 was the more potent EP1 antagonist used in this tissue.