1. Distension of the duodenum in anaesthetized rats, by rapid application of intraluminal pressures (10-75 cmH2O), evoked falls in diastolic blood pressure and intragastric pressure. 2. The distension-induced responses were blocked by pretreatment with morphine (20 mg kg-1, s.c.), an action reversible by injection of naloxone (5 mg kg-1, i.v.). 3. Bilateral cervical vagotomy reduced the distension-evoked fall in intragastric pressure but had no effect on the corresponding fall in blood pressure. 4. Granisetron or ICS 205-930 (1-1000 micrograms kg-1, i.v.) had no effects on duodenal intraluminal pressure, but reduced the responses to distension with a bell-shaped dose-response relationship. Ondansetron (1-1000 micrograms kg-1, i.v.) did not reduce the reflex responses. 5. These results show that the 5-HT3 receptor antagonists used exerted different effects on the reflex responses to duodenal distension.