Specific receptors for leukotriene C4 (LTC4) have been identified on an intact smooth muscle cell line, DDT1 MF-2 cells derived from the Syrian hamster vas deferens. Specific [3H]LTC4 binding at a fixed input at 4 degrees C was rapid, reached a plateau at 86% of total binding at 60 min, and was reversible upon addition of excess homoligand. With incremental inputs of radioligand and a constant cell number, specific [3H]LTC4 binding reached a plateau indicative of saturable binding sites. LIGAND analysis of the Scatchard plot demonstrated a single high affinity binding site with a dissociation constant (Kd) of 5 nM. With incremental inputs of unlabeled LTC4, LIGAND analysis of the Scatchard plot demonstrated a single high affinity site with a Kd of 4.4 nM and in some experiments an additional low affinity site with a Kd of 634 nM. The myotonically active structural analogues of LTC4, 5(R),6(S)-LTC4, 11-trans-LTC4, and C1-monoamide-LTC4, competed effectively with radiolabeled LTC4 such that the relative Kd values of these heteroligands were within one log of that of the homoligand. In contrast, the other native sulfidopeptide leukotrienes, leukotriene D4 and leukotriene E4, exhibited relative Kd values that were 2-3 logs less than that of LTC4. Thus, the high affinity receptor on the DDT1 smooth muscle cell line is specific for a single constituent, LTC4, of slow reacting substance of anaphylaxis.