Animal studies suggest that the small (SK) and intermediate (IK) conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels may contribute to detrusor smooth muscle (DSM) excitability and contractility. However, the ability of SK and IK channels to control DSM spontaneous phasic and nerve-evoked contractions in human DSM remains unclear. We first investigated SK and IK channels molecular expression in native human DSM and further assessed their functional role using isometric DSM tension recordings and SK/IK channel-selective inhibitors. Quantitative PCR experiments revealed that SK3 channel mRNA expression in isolated DSM single cells was ∼12- to 44-fold higher than SK1, SK2, and IK channels. RT-PCR studies at the single-cell level detected mRNA messages for SK3 channels but not SK1, SK2, and IK channels. Western blot and immunohistochemistry analysis further confirmed protein expression for the SK3 channel and lack of detectable protein expression for IK channel in whole DSM tissue. Apamin (1 μM), a selective SK channel inhibitor, significantly increased the spontaneous phasic contraction amplitude, muscle force integral, phasic contraction duration, and muscle tone of human DSM isolated strips. Apamin (1 μM) also increased the amplitude of human DSM electrical field stimulation (EFS)-induced contractions. However, TRAM-34 (1 μM), a selective IK channel inhibitor, had no effect on the spontaneous phasic and EFS-induced DSM contractions suggesting a lack of IK channel functional role in human DSM. In summary, our molecular and functional studies revealed that the SK, particularly the SK3 subtype, but not IK channels are expressed and regulate the spontaneous and nerve-evoked contractions in human DSM.