The pharmacology of leukotrienes (LT) C4 and D4 in isolated airway smooth muscle was investigated. In rat trachea, neither LTC4 or D4 elicited a response. In contrast, LTC4 was a potent contractile agonist in guinea-pig trachea, bronchus and parenchymal lung strip. Similar effects were obtained with LTD4 in trachea and parenchyma. In trachea and bronchus, the concentration-response curve to LTC4 was biphasic: indomethacin converted the biphasic response curve to a simple sigmoidal shape and enhanced the maximum contractile response. The SRS-A antagonist FPL 55712 antagonized the effect of LTD4 in both trachea and parenchyma. As regards LTC4-induced contraction of trachea and bronchus, FPL 55712, depending on concentration, either antagonized, or antagonized and enhanced the maximum contractile response. The enhancement of the maximum contractile response by FPL 55712 was not apparent when indomethacin was present. FPL 55712 failed to antagonize the effect of LTC4 in parenchyma.