The sulphation of (+) and (-) terbutaline was investigated in specimens of human intestinal mucosa isolated from the duodenum, ileum, ascending colon and sigmoid colon and in specimens of liver and lung. The lung specimens came from 8 current smokers and 11 ex-smokers, the latter having stopped at least 3 months before surgery. The rates (pmol.min-1.mg protein-1) of (+) and (-) terbutaline sulphation were 1195 and 948 (duodenum), 415 and 317 (ileum), 268 and 166 (ascending colon), 263 and 193 (sigmoid colon) and 45 and 34 (liver), respectively. Terbutaline sulphotransferase was more active in the small and large intestine than in the liver. In the lung, the rate of (+) terbutaline sulphation was 118 (ex-smokers) and 82 (smokers), and for (-) terbutaline it was 82 (ex-smokers) and 56 (smokers). In the gut, the activity of catechol sulphotransferase was significantly correlated with that of (+)- and (-)- terbutaline sulphotransferase whereas no correlation was found with phenol sulphotransferase. This correlation, the finding of the higher activity of terbutaline sulphotransferase in gut than in liver, and the pronounced thermal inactivation of the enzyme, are all consistent with the view that catechol sulphotransferase has a role in the sulphation of terbutaline.