1. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings were made from smooth muscle cells isolated from guinea-pig seminal vesicle. 2. When the recording pipette solution contained 130 mM KCl and a low concentration of EGTA (0.2 mM), a dominant outward current was elicited by depolarization to positive of -30 mV from a holding potential of -50 mV. The current was non-inactivating, stimulated by intracellular Ca2+ and blocked by bath-applied 1 mM tetraethylammonium but not 1 mM 3,4 diaminopyridine. 3. If 10 mM EGTA was added to the KCl pipette solution and the holding potential was -50 mV, or more negative, the major current elicited by depolarization to positive of -30 mV was an A-type K(+)-current. This current inactivated rapidly (within 100 ms) and was blocked by bath-applied 1 mM 3,4-diaminopyridine but not 10 mM tetraethylammonium. 4. An inward voltage-gated Ca channel current was observed on depolarization to positive of -30 mV with 1.5 mM Ca2+ or 10 mM Ba2+ in the bath solution and when Ca+ replaced K+ in the pipette. The Ba(2+)-current was shown to be abolished by bath-applied 100 microM Cd2+ and inhibited by 90% by 1 microM nifedipine, and thus appeared to be carried by L-type Ca channels. 5. High concentrations of glibenclamide (10-500 microM) inhibited A-type K(+)-current, Ba(2+)-current and contraction of the whole tissue induced by noradrenaline or electrical field stimulation. 6. From these data we suggest that seminal vesicle smooth muscle cells express Ca2+ -dependent K channels, A-type K channels and L-type Ca channels which are inhibited by tetraethylammonium,3,4-diaminopyridine and nifedipine, respectively. In addition, an unexpected relaxant effect of high concentrations of glibenclamide may be explained by inhibition of the Ca channels.