The vascular effects of kaempferol were investigated in isolated porcine coronary artery rings. U46619 (9,11-dideoxy-9alpha, 11alpha-methanoepoxy prostaglandin F2alpha, 30 nM) was used to contract porcine coronary arterial rings. Concentration relaxation curve of kaempferol (1 nM - 100 microM) was constructed and kaempferol demonstrated significant relaxation at high concentrations. At low concentration with no significant effect on relaxation, kaempferol (10 microM) enhanced relaxation produced by bradykinin, the calcium ionophore A23187, isoproterenol and sodium nitroprusside in endothelium-intact porcine coronary arteries. In endothelium-disrupt rings, kaempferol (10 microM) also enhanced the relaxation caused by isoproterenol, sodium nitroprusside, levcromakalim and nifedipine. On the other hand, antioxidant agents did not affect bradykinin-induced relaxation or the enhancement effect of kaempferol. In summary, a low concentration of kaempferol (10 microM), devoid of significant vascular effect, has the ability to enhance endothelium-dependent and endothelium-independent relaxations. This action of kaempferol is unrelated to its antioxidant property.