The effect of neuropeptide Y on the number of perivascular carbon deposits, assessed as a measure of lung vascular permeability, was examined in isolated perfused lung preparations of rats. The number of carbon particle deposits after bronchial application of neuropeptide Y was increased in a dose-dependent manner. In the presence of a beta-adrenoceptor antagonist, norepinephrine augmented the effects of neuropeptide Y. Peptide YY, an analog of neuropeptide Y, demonstrated a much lower potency for increasing the number of carbon deposits, and neuropeptide Y-(18-36), which elicits a weak antagonist action on the neuropeptide Y Y3 receptor, significantly decreased the neuropeptide Y-induced increase. Furthermore, examination of the influence of neuropeptide Y-(18-36) pretreatment on fibrin-induced neurogenic pulmonary edema, in rats, revealed a reduction of the protein concentration ratio of tracheal fluid to serum. Therefore, we conclude that neuropeptide Y may elevate vascular permeability in the pulmonary circulation, conceivably through the neuropeptide Y Y3 receptor, and that neuropeptide Y may in fact play a physiological role even in the in-situ pulmonary circulation.