Atriopeptin II has been reported to cause profound coronary vasoconstriction in the isolated perfused guinea pig heart and in the blood perfused canine heart. Consequently, this study was carried out to examine possible mechanisms by which vasomotor effects of human atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) occur in the canine coronary circulation. Bolus dosages of ANP were administered into the left circumflex coronary artery of in situ dog hearts perfused at constant flow rate. ANP produced dose-related coronary vasodilation with a threshold dosage of 2 ng/kg; a dosage of 2 μg/kg caused a 27 ± 4% decrease in coronary vascular resistance. Coronary vasodilation produced by ANP was not altered by β-adrenergic blockade with propranolol (1 mg/kg i.v.). In addition, neither adenosine receptor blockade with 8-phenyltheophylline (5 mg/kg i.v.) nor cyclooxygenase inhibition with indomethacin (5 mg/kg i.v.) significantly altered the response to intra-arterial ANP. These data demonstrate that in the in vitro blood perfused canine heart, ANP administered intra-arterially results in coronary vasodilation that does not utilize adenosine-dependent or prostaglandin-dependent mechanisms.