In porcine coronary arteries (PCAs), celiprolol, a selective β(1)-adrenoceptors antagonist, induces vasodilatation by an endothelium- and nitric oxide (NO)-dependent pathway. However, the mechanisms of that vascular effect have not been precisely established. β(3)-Adrenoceptors have been shown to be involved in the relaxation per se of various vascular beds, including coronary vessels. Thus, we evaluated (i) the presence of β(3)-adrenoceptors in the PCA and (ii) their role in celiprolol-induced vasodilatation. PCA rings were placed in organ baths and preconstricted with KCl. All experiments were performed in the presence of nadolol (a β(1)/β(2)-adrenoceptor antagonist). Cumulative concentration-response curves to SR 58611A and ICI 215001 (2 β(3)-adrenoceptor agonists) and to celiprolol were constructed. We also used semiquantitative reverse transcription - polymerase chain reaction, which clearly showed the presence of β(3)-adrenoceptor transcripts. SR 58611A, ICI 215001, and celiprolol induced concentration-dependent relaxations in PCA rings. SR 58611A-induced relaxation was almost abolished after removal of endothelium or pretreatment with L-NAME (a NO synthase inhibitor). The vasorelaxations induced by SR 58611A and celiprolol were inhibited in the presence of SR 59230A and L-748337 (2 selective β(3)-adrenoceptor antagonists). We showed (i) that PCAs possess functional β(3)-adrenoceptors mediating endothelium- and NO-dependent relaxation, and (ii) that celiprolol exerts a β(3)-adrenoceptor agonistic activity in this vascular bed.