Prostacyclin is suggested to reduce microvascular permeability, but the cellular mechanisms mediating this response in the microvascular endothelial cells are still unknown. Considering that prostacyclin relaxes vascular smooth muscle cells via opening of ATP-dependent potassium channels, and opening of ATP-dependent potassium channels in the endothelial cells is suggested to influence microvascular permeability, this study was designed to test (1) if ATP-dependent potassium channels are involved in the regulation of microvascular hydraulic permeability, (2) if the permeability-reducing effect of prostacyclin is mediated through opening of ATP-dependent potassium channels, and (3) if cAMP is involved in this process. An autoperfused cat calf hindlimb was used as experimental model, and microvascular hydraulic permeability (conductivity) was estimated by a capillary filtration coefficient (CFC) technique. The potassium channel opener PCO-400 (0.5 μg·min<sup>–1</sup> per 100 g muscle, intra-arterially), prostacyclin (1 ng·min<sup>–1</sup> per kg body weight, intravenously) and the cAMP analogue dibutyryl-cAMP (24 μg·min<sup>–1</sup> per 100 g muscle, intra-arterially), decreased CFC to 77, 72 and 69% compared to control, respectively (p < 0.01). The decrease in CFC obtained by these substances was completely restituted after the start of a simultaneous infusion of the ATP-dependent potassium channel blocker glibenclamide (6 μg·min<sup>–1</sup> per 100 g muscle, intra-arterially; p < 0.01). Infusion of glibenclamide alone increased CFC to 107% of control (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the ATP-dependent potassium channels contribute to the regulation of microvascular hydraulic conductivity, and the prostacyclin permeability-reducing effect may act through this mechanism via increase in intracellular cAMP.