Bradykinin is a substrate for both neutral endopeptidase 24.11 (NEP) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Our previous studies showed that ACE inhibitors can stimulate nitric oxide production in coronary microvessels, which is mediated by local kinins. Whether inhibition of NEP also can affect local vascular NO production has not been established. To determine the role of NEP in the control of NO production, coronary microvessels were isolated from seven mongrel dogs. Two NEP inhibitors, phosphoramidon and thiorphan, and an ACE inhibitor, ramiprilat, were used. Nitrite, the metabolite of NO in aqueous solution, was measured by using the Griess reaction. Phosphoramidon and thiorphan (10−6M) increased nitrite production from 80 ± 6 to 136 ± 6 and 144 ± 7 pmol/mg, respectively. Ramiprilat (10−8M) increased nitrite production from 78 ± 6 to 155 ± 7 pmol/mg wet weight. The effect of these agents on nitrite release was blocked by L-NAME, which inhibits NO synthase, HOE-140, which blocks bradykinin B2-receptor, and dichloroisocoumarin, which blocks kinin-forming enzymes. These results clearly indicate that inhibition of kinin metabolism by using neutral endopeptidase inhibitors increases NO production from coronary microvessels. Thus neutral endopeptidase plays an important role in local kinin-modulated NO production in the coronary microcirculation and NEP inhibitors may be useful clinical tools in treatment of cardiovascular disease.