The effects of Bay K 8644 on the release of [3H]-noradrenaline evoked by potassium, electrical stimulation or tyramine from the rat isolated vas deferens labelled with [3H]-noradrenaline were investigated. Bay K 8644 (1 microM) by itself did not affect the spontaneous release of tritium from the rat isolated vas deferens. However, it increased the calcium-dependent release of tritium elicited by both high potassium (59 mM) and electrical field stimulation. The exposure of rat vas deferens to phentolamine (10 microM) increased the release of tritium induced by potassium (59 mM) and electrical field stimulation. Bay K 8644 (1 microM) failed to increase further the release of tritium elicited by both stimuli in preparations previously treated with phentolamine (10 microM). The calcium-independent release of [3H]-noradrenaline evoked by tyramine (10 microM) was not affected by Bay K 8644 (1 microM). The results of our study support the view that alpha2-adrenoceptors modulate noradrenaline release by restricting calcium influx into sympathetic nerve terminals through voltage-dependent channels.