We have investigated the effect of the Y2 receptor agonist (Y2 agonist; N-acetyl [Leu28,31] NPY 24-36), on contractions evoked by transmural electrical stimulation of sympathetic nerves of isolated arteries from a range of vascular beds in rats and guinea pigs. Contractions evoked by transmural stimulation of the rat renal, mesenteric and femoral arteries were significantly attenuated in the presence of the Y2 agonist. In these arteries, contractions were significantly inhibited in the presence of an α-adrenoceptor antagonist (76-97%). So we conclude that these responses were primarily mediated by noradrenaline and that the Y2 agonist attenuates the release of noradrenaline via presynaptic Y2 receptors. Contractions of the rat carotid artery were not attenuated by the Y2 agonist but were completely abolished in the presence of an α-adrenoceptor antagonist suggesting that in this artery the Y2 agonist has no effect on release of noradrenaline. In the guinea pig, carotid arteries contractions evoked by transmural nerve stimulation were attenuated in the presence of the Y2 agonist and inhibited by an α-adrenoceptor antagonist 75-87% suggesting that the Y2 agonist attenuates the release of noradrenaline via presynaptic Y2 receptors in this vessel. In the guinea pig femoral artery contractions evoked by transmural stimulation were not modified in the presence of the Y2 agonist but were completely abolished in the presence of an α-adrenoceptor antagonist. This suggests that the Y2 agonist does not modify noradrenaline release in this vessel. Contractions of the guinea pig mesenteric artery were significantly potentiated by the Y2 agonist, possibly by potentiation of neuropeptide Y (NPY) at the Y1 receptor. The Y1 antagonist inhibited more than 70 % of the response, indicating that the majority of the contraction was mediated by NPY. The current study demonstrates heterogeneity of neurotransmitter substances in sympathetic nerves supplying vascular beds within and across species and in subsequent functional response.