In this study we looked for evidence regarding a correlation between M2-muscarinic receptor binding affinity and ligand intrinsic activity. Guanine nucleotide-binding protein-coupled receptors have been shown to exist in both a high affinity and a low affinity, agonist state. The agonist [3H]Oxotremorine-M, was used to determine the affinity of compounds for the high affinity state and the antagonist, [3H]N-methylscopolamine, plus GppNHp, was used to determine the affinity for the low agonist state. The magnitude of the difference in the affinity a compound has for the high versus the low agonist state of the receptor has been related to the intrinsic activity of the compound. NMS/Oxo-M ratios were established for muscarinic agonists, partial agonists and antagonists. NMS/Oxo-M ratios varied from 1695 for the agonist carbachol to 1.9 for the antagonist AFDX-166 with intermediate values for the partial agonists oxotremorine-M, pilocarpine and RS86 (233, 36 and 17 respectively). Intrinsic activity was assessed by receptor-mediated Gi-protein GTPase activity. Indeed, a close correlation (r=0.92) was found between the NMS/Oxo-M ratios of the ligands on the one hand, and their ability to activate the M2-receptor coupled Gi-protein on the other.