Urotensin II (UII) was first discovered in the urophyses of goby fish and later identified in mammals, while urotensin II-related peptide (URP) was recently isolated from rat brain. We studied the effects of UII on isolated heart preparations of Chinook salmon and Sprague-Dawley rats. Native rat UII caused potent and sustained, dose-dependent dilation of the coronary arteries in the rat, whereas non-native UII (human and trout UII) showed attenuated vasodilation. Rat URP dilated rat coronary arteries, with 10-fold less potency compared with rUII. In salmon, native trout UII caused sustained dilation of the coronary arteries, while rat UII and URP caused significant constriction. Nomega-nitro-(l)-arginine methyl (l-NAME) and indomethacin significantly attenuated the URP and rat UII-induced vasodilation in the rat heart. We conclude that UII is a coronary vasodilator, an action that is species form specific. We also provide the first evidence for cardiac actions of URP, possibly via mechanisms common with UII.