The discovery of a second isoform of cyclooxygenase has led to a re-evaluation of the mechanisms underlying the adverse effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, focusing in particular on the gastrointestinal system. We investigated the involvement of cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 in the regulation of gastric acid secretion and cardiovascular functions in anesthetized rats, after acute intravenous administration of the selective cyclooxygenase-1 inhibitor SC-560, the selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor celecoxib and the nonselective inhibitor indomethacin. Indomethacin, celecoxib and SC-560 did not significantly modify basal acid secretion. Indomethacin and celecoxib were also ineffective on the acid secretion stimulated by pentagastrin; by contrast, SC-560 significantly enhanced the acid secretion stimulated by pentagastrin, electrical vagal stimulation or histamine. The stimulatory effects of SC-560 were prevented by cervical vagotomy, atropine and famotidine. Indomethacin caused either no change, increasing or decreasing effects on mean arterial pressure and heart rate. By contrast, SC-560 was unable to change cardiovascular parameters at 5 mg/kg, while inducing a marked bradycardia at 10 mg/kg. Celecoxib was ineffective. Our findings indicate that cyclooxygenase-1-derived prostaglandins are involved in the regulation of stimulated acid secretion and of basal heart rate; the role of prostaglandins in the acute control of systemic blood pressure under resting conditions seems to be negligible.