The pharmacologic activities of leukotrienes C-1 and D(LTC-1 and LTD), constituents of slow reacting substance of anaphylaxis (SRS-A), were evaluated in vitro on airway contractile tissues and in vivo on pulmonary mechanical function, mean systemic arterial pressure, and cutaneous microcirculation. In vitro both LTC-1 and LTD were potent and selective peripheral airway agonists, being more active than histamine; furthermore, LTD was active on peripheral airways at concentrations 1/100th those of LTC-1. The concentration-effect relationship for LTD and the profile of antagonism by FPL 55712 are consistent with the activity of this molecule at two separate peripheral airway receptors. In vivo, LTC-1 and LTD were nearly equally active in their effects on pulmonary mechanics, and the pattern of alterations was consistent with the predominant site of action being in the lung periphery. Furthermore, both agents had a direct systemic arterial hypotensive effect and were vasoactive on the cutaneous microcirculation. Thus, these compounds are likely to be major mediators of the pathologic alterations in immediate type hypersensitivity reactions in which peripheral airway constriction and hypotension are prominent features.