OBJECTIVE: To investigate the role of neurokinin (NK)-2 and -3 receptors in mediating the contraction of detrusor muscle strips from human and pig, to determine whether the pig is a good model for the study of tachykinin receptors in the human bladder, as the biological actions of tachykinins, e.g. substance P and NKA are mediated via three distinct receptor subtypes, NK-1, -2 and -3. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Strips of detrusor muscle were obtained from the bladder dome and neck of female pigs and from patients undergoing cystectomy. Cumulative concentration-response curves to NKA were obtained in the absence and presence of either the NK-2 receptor-selective antagonist SR48968 or the NK-3 receptor-selective antagonist SB223412. RESULTS: NKA produced concentration-dependent contractions in the human and pig detrusor muscle; the curves were shifted to the right by SR48968, with high affinity (pKB 8.9, 8.3 and 8.0 in the human, pig dome and pig neck, respectively), whereas SB223412 had a minimal effect (pKB 5.8, 5.8 and 6.3, respectively). CONCLUSION: These data confirm that the NK-2 receptor subtype mediates NKA-induced contraction of the human and pig detrusor muscle. The NK-3 receptor appears to have no role in detrusor contraction of either species. The results also provide evidence that the NK-2 receptor in human and pig are the same, and the latter may be an appropriate species to study tachykinin-induced contractions in human bladder.