The present study first investigated the mechanisms of vasorelaxation induced by ellagic acid (EA), which is one of the major compounds extracted from the pomegranate in the rat thoracic aorta. Male Wistar rats aged 10 to12 weeks weighing 250-350 g were used for the present study. The animals were killed by decapitation, and thoracic aortas were immediately excised and placed in Krebs solutions, cleaned, and freed from surrounding connective tissue. The isolated arteries were cut into rings (4- to 5-mm long) and placed in 20-mL tissue chambers filled with Krebs solution. Initially, the aortic rings were equilibrated for 60 min until a resting tension of 1.0 gr. After the equilibration period, aortic rings were firstly contracted with phenylephrine to increase tone. Once a stable contraction was achieved, EA (10(-8) to 10(-4) M) was added cumulatively on aortic rings with or without endothelium into organ bath. To characterize the mechanisms involved in EA-induced vasorelaxant effect, the aortic rings were incubated with each inhibitor added to the bath for 30 min before phenylephrine was added to increase tone. The results of the present study have demonstrated in the rat thoracic aorta that EA causes vasorelaxations, which are partly modulated via endothelium-dependent mechanisms and through inhibition of calcium influx.