1. The effects of changes in mean and pulsatile shear stress on the diameter of the iliac of the anaesthetized pig were investigated in the presence of clazosentan and tezosentan.2. A total of 17 pigs were used. Mean shear stress was increased by infusing acetylcholine downstream (2-20 mu g/min) through the deep femoral artery. Pulsatile shear stress was enhanced first by injecting varying volumes (1-10 mL) of calcium gluconate (stock 10 mg/mL) directly into the left ventricle. Second, by electrical stimulation of the left sympathetic nerves to the heart (1-16 Hz, 4 min duration, supramaximal voltage).3. An increase in mean shear stress induced a vasodilation that was not altered significantly by the selective endothelin A antagonist clazosentan (10 mg/kg i.v.). Similarly, the vasoconstriction induced by an increase in pulsatile shear stress brought about by either calcium gluconate injections or left sympathetic nerve stimulation was unaffected by clazosentan. However, tezosentan (10 mg/kg i.v.), significantly attenuated the vasoconstriction induced by an increase in pulsatile shear stress.4. In conclusion, an increase in pulsatile shear stress causes vasoconstriction of the pig iliac artery, which is attenuated by dual endothelin receptor antagonism, but not by specific endothelin A blockade.