1. The vascular effect of insulin in the mesenteric resistance blood vessel and the role of calcitonin generelated peptide (CGRP)-receptor in insulin-induced vascular responsiveness were investigated in rats. 2. The mesenteric vascular beds isolated from Wistar rats were perfused with Krebs solution, and perfusion pressure was measured with a pressure transducer. In preparations contracted by perfusion with Krebs solution containing methoxamine in the presence of guanethidine, the perfusion of insulin (from 0.1 to 3000 nM) caused a concentration-dependent decrease in perfusion pressure due to vasodilatation. The pD2 value and maximum relaxation (%) were 6.94+/-0.22 and 43.9+/-5.2, respectively. 3. This vasodilator response to insulin was unaffected by 100 nM propranolol (beta-adrenoceptor antagonist) plus 100 nM atropine (muscarinic cholinoceptor antagonist), 100 microM L-NG-nitroarginine (nitric oxide synthase inhibitor), 1 microM ouabain (Na+-K+ ATPase inhibitor), or 1 microM glibenclamide (ATP sensitive K+-channel inhibitor). 4. In preparations without endothelium, perfusion of insulin produced a marked vasodilatation. The pD2 value and maximum relaxation (%) were 7.62+/-0.21 and 81.0+/-4.6, respectively, significantly greater than in preparations with intact endothelium. 5. The vasodilator responses to insulin in the preparations without endothelium were significantly inhibited by CGRP[8 37], a CGRP receptor antagonist, whereas pretreatment with capsaisin, a toxin for CGRP-containing nerves, did not affect insulin-induced vasodilatation. 6. These results suggest that insulin induces non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic and endothelium-independent vasodilatation, which is partially mediated by CGRP receptors.