Abstract Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) is one of the active principles contained in Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. (Umbelliferae), a herb that has been widely used to treat vascular disorders in China. In the present study, role of potassium channel in the vasodilatation of TMP was investigated using the effect of potassium channel blocker on TMP induced relaxation in isolated aortic rings from Wistar rats. TMP produced a concentration-dependent relaxation in the aortic rings precontracted with vasopressin or phenylephrine. Similar effect of TMP on vasoconstrictions by phenylephrine and vasopressin, induced through two different receptors, indicating the direct vasodilatation of TMP. Specific inhibitors for potassium channel were used to characterize the role of potassium channel in this action of TMP. Only the inhibitors specific to small conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK Ca) channel or ATP-sensitive potassium (K ATP) channel inhibited the action of TMP. Also, the TMP-induced relaxation was reversed by the inhibitor of soluble guanylyl cyclase in a way similar to that of K ATP channel blockade. The obtained results indicated that vasodilatation induced by TMP is related to the opening of SK Ca and K ATP channels.