Non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic (NANC) nerve stimulation results in excitation (e.j.p., rebound depolarization, contractions) or inhibition (i.j.p., afterhyperpolarization, relaxations) of the gut. NANC neuronal mechanisms participate in the maintenance of the basal tone and spontaneous activity of the gut. There are however species differencies, i.e. both NANC excitation and inhibition are present in the guinea pig and only NANC inhibition in the rat intestine. Substance P-like neuropeptide/s are suggested to be mediators released from excitatory NANC and sensory nerves. The latter are activated by histamine and degenerated by capsaicin. There is evidence in favor of a nitric oxide-like substance rather than ATP, dopamin, GABA and neuropeptides (e.g. VIP, PHI/PHM) as the inhibitory NANC mediator in the gut. TTX, high Mg?+ -low Ca?+ media, 3,4-diaminopyridine, dipyridamol and adenosine deaminase modulate NANC excitation and inhibition. The NANC excitation is more sensitive than the NANC inhibition to the action of catecholamines, reserpine, 6-hydroxydopamine, chymotrypsin, , bacitracin, opioids, free oxygen species and low concentration of local anesthetics.