Effects of sodium vanadate on various vascular smooth muscles of guinea pigs, rabbits, and Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY) were studied. Sodium vanadate of concentrations higher than 10<sup>-5</sup> M induced contractions in the aortae of all animals. The contractile effects varied among vascular smooth muscles, and mesenteric arteries showed no or only weak contractile response to the drug, while aortae showed higher contractile responses. In the portal veins, potentiation of spontaneous contractions was observed by the application of sodium vanadate. These responses were not blocked by treatments with adrenergic blocking agents or indomethacin, indicating the direct action of the drug on vascular smooth muscles. Treatment with 4,4’-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2’-disulfonic acid (DIDS) blocked completely the contractile effects of sodium vanadate, whereas it showed no effect on K-contractures. Partial depolarization of the membrane by elevations of K concentration potentiated sodium vanadate-induced contractions and minimized the variations of responses among preparations. In K-depolarized preparations, sodium vanadate often induced relaxation of preparations. The contractile effects of sodium vanadate were not blocked by treatment with ouabain, though ouabain also showed contractile actions in a number of preparations. It was suggested that vanadate acts directly on vascular smooth muscles and causes contractions without relation to the inhibition of NaK-ATPase. It may cause contractions inhibiting Ca-ATPase of sarcoplasmic reticulum and/or of cell membrane, and cause relaxation by inhibiting ATPase of contractile proteins. The variations of the responses may be explained by differences of membrane permeability to vanadate.