1. The responses of the electrically stimulated guinea-pig ileum and vas deferens to human and rat calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and amylin were investigated. 2. The inhibition of contraction of the ileum produced by human alpha CGRP was antagonized by human alpha CGRP8-37 (apparent pA2 estimated at 7.15 +/- 0.23) > human alpha CGRP19-37 (apparent pA2 estimated as 6.67 +/- 0.33) > [Tyr0]-human alpha CGRP28-37. The amylin antagonist, AC187, was three fold less potent than CGRP8-37 in antagonizing human alpha CGRP. 3. Both human beta- and rat alpha CGRP inhibited contractions of the ileum, but this was less sensitive to inhibition by CGRP8-37 than the effect of human alpha CGRP. However, CGRP19-37 was twenty times more effective in inhibiting the response to rat alpha CGRP (apparent pA2 estimated as 8.0 +/- 0.1) compared to human alpha CGRP. 4. Rat amylin inhibited contractions in about 10% of ileal preparations; this effect was not antagonized by any CGRP fragment. Human amylin had no action on this preparation. 5. Both human and rat alpha CGRP inhibited electrically stimulated contractions of the vas deferens, which were not antagonized by 3 microM CGRP8-37 or 10 microM AC187. 6. Rat amylin inhibited the stimulated contractions of the vas deferens (EC50 = 77 +/- 9 nM); human amylin was less potent (EC50 = 213 +/- 22 nM). The response to rat amylin was antagonized by 10 microM CGRP8-37 (EC50 = 242 +/- 25 nM) and 10 microM AC187 (EC50 = 610 +/- 22 nM). 7. It is concluded that human alpha CGRP relaxes the guinea-pig ileum via CGRP1-like receptors, but that human beta CGRP and rat alpha CGRP may use additional receptors. These are distinct CGRP2-like and amylin receptors on guinea-pig vas deferens.