The beta-adrenoceptor agonists, isoprenaline, salbutamol and salmeterol, the non-selective phosphodiesterase (PDE) isoenzyme inhibitors, theophylline, trequinsin; the PDE3 isoenzyme inhibitor, milrinone; the PDE3/4 isoenzyme inhibitor, benzafentrine; and the PDE4 isoenzyme inhibitors, denbufylline, nitraquazone, RP 73401, Ro-20-1724, rolipram and tibenelast all induced concentration-dependent reversal of prostaglandin F2alpha-induced contraction of guinea-pig superfused trachea in vitro. The relaxant response of the non-selective PDE isoenzyme inhibitor trequinsin was slow in onset and demonstrated very slow recovery, similar to that observed with the long-acting beta2-adrenoceptor agonist, salmeterol and the PDE4 inhibitor, RP 73401. The relaxant agonists also significantly reversed bombesin-induced bronchospasm in anaesthetised guinea-pigs and there was a highly significant correlation between the ability of drugs to reverse PGF2alpha-induced contraction of guinea-pig isolated trachea in vitro and bombesin-induced bronchoconstriction in vivo. Furthermore, both salmeterol and trequinsin demonstrated long lasting bronchodilator responses consistent with the in vitro data. These results show that PDE isoenzyme inhibitors demonstrate different pharmacodynamic profiles that is not determined by PDE4 inhibitory potency and indicate that other factors may be important in this regard.