The aim of the present study is to evaluate whether paroxetine (a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor) can modify the contractile responses of isolated vas deferens. Some contractile agents, potassium chloride (KCl), adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP), noradrenaline (NA), and electrical field stimulation (EFS) caused contractions both in epididymal and prostatic portions of vas deferens. Paroxetine (PX) in concentrations 10(-7) and 10(-6) M potentiated the contractions to KCl and ATP only in epididymal portion but in higher concentrations (10(-5) and 10(-4) M) inhibited the responses in both portions. NA responses were inhibited by PX in all concentrations used, both in prostatic and epididymal portions. Prazosin (PR), an alpha adrenergic receptor blocking agent, inhibited PX-induced potentiation observed for higher concentrations of KCl. PR also inhibited PX-induced potentiation on the responses to ATP in epididymal portion. Pretreatment with PX (10(-7) to 10(-6) M) increased the contractions to EFS but in 10(-5) and 10(-4) M concentrations inhibited them. Even though the preparations were washed out, the inhibited responses of contractile agents Could not be restored. After a washout period for PX, when Bay K 8644 (calcium channel activator) was added to the bath medium, the contractile responses to KCl were partially restored. In calcium-free medium, KCl caused contractions in concentrations higher than 80 mM with lower amplitudes which were not affected by PX.