The effect of cyanide (10(-7) M), thiocyanate (10(-4) M) and nicotine (10(-7) M) on the concentration-response curves of 5-hydroxytryptamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine were investigated in human isolated umbilical arteries and veins. Cyanide significantly affected the responses of arterial strips to 5-hydroxytryptamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine: It caused significant leftward shifts of the 5-hydroxytryptamine concentration-response curves and significantly potentiated the contractile effects of norepinephrine and epinephrine in the case of norepinephrine, and epinephrine concentration reached 10(-6) and 10(-7) M respectively in the bath medium. Cyanide did not show any significant effect on the concentration-response curves of 5-hydroxytryptamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine in veins. Nicotine interacted with the response of adrenergic agonists both in arteries and veins; in arteries it potentiates the contractile response of epinephrine; in veins, it inhibited the dilatory responses of norepinephrine and potentiated the contractile effect of high concentration of epinephrine (10(-6) M). Thiocyanate did not cause any difference on any cumulative concentration-response curves either on the vessels. However, none of these individual effects of cyanide and nicotine were observed when the cyanide, thiocyanate and nicotine were added in combination in the isolated organ bath medium.