Abstract The generation and release of PGE 2, PGF 2α, PGD 2, TXB 2 and 6-keto-PGF 1α in the rat detrusor muscle were studied by means of radioimmunoassays. The effect of ATP (0.1 mmol/1) and adenosine (0.1 mmol/1) on the content and profile of PGs in the incubation medium was investigated. It was found that PGE 2 and 6-keto-PGF 1α accounted for more than 80% of the total PG activity. ATP increased the amounts of PGs in the incubation medium (percentage change of the control vlaues, N = 6: PGE 2 54.53 ± 12.69, PGF 2α 31.01 ± 8.82, PGD 2 44.52 ± 12.36, TXB 2 17.29 ± 10.45, 6-keto-PGF 1α 36.62 ± 5.0) but did not change their profile. Adenosine had no effect on either content or profile of the PGs. The results suggest that ATP but ot adenosine may activate PG biosynthesis via P 2-purinoceptor-mediated mechanisms.