Our laboratory developed an isolated perfused superior mesenteric arterial vascular bed preparation to study and correlate vascular smooth-muscle mechanics with associated biochemical events. This preparation provides consistent dose-dependent contractile responses, contains most of the superior mesenteric artery as well as first-, second-, and third-generation arterioles, and has been used for concurrent functional and biochemical analysis of vascular smooth muscle. Preparations isolated from Sprague-Dawley rats produced rapid, dose-related vasoconstrictor responses to norepinephrine (NE) and KCl, while appearing to be unresponsive to periarterial nerve stimulation. Endothelial relaxations to bolus doses of acetylcholine (ACh) in the presence of a constant infusion of NE (10 μM) were limited, producing reductions of perfusion pressures of <25%. Receptor-binding studies conducted to evaluate α1-adrenoceptor subtypes revealed high- and low-affinity binding sites composing 91 and 9% of the overall population, respectively. A 60-s time course for contractile response and inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP3) production revealed a significant but transient increase of IP3 that paralleled the contractile response generated by using bolus injections of NE (30 μg). This preparation offers the capacity to conduct perfusion studies investigating vasoconstrictor responses, as well as biochemical studies including receptor-binding and second-messenger assays in the same tissue.