This overview focusses on the ubiquitous presence of immunohistochemically visible peptidergic nerves with vasodilatory function. The nerve fibres are primarily related to the parasympathetic system (vasoactive intestinal polypeptide or VIP), the sympathetic system including the adrenal medulla (enkephalins) and to the sensory system (substance P as well as calcitonin gene-related peptide, CGRP). Substance P and probably also CGRP seem to be the mediators of antidromic vasodilatation. Enkephalins appear to be released both from nerve endings and from the adrenomeduUary cells. The vasodilatory nerve fibres in the heart distribute both to the coronary vessels and to functionally important parts of the myocardium, where interesting relations exist between the peptidergic flow regulation and contractile force. In the brain the sensory and parasympathetic pathways for VIP and substance P/CGRP have recently been mapped in detail, and a new peptidergic intracranial ganglion has been discovered. The selective electrical stimulation of the sensory and post-ganglionic parasympathetic fibres, respectively, in the brain circulation has been found to evoke a pronounced flow increase which does not appear to involve cholinergic mediation. There is also experimental evidence that the mentioned systems of fibres may interact with each other and with the sympathetic nervous system by way of neuronal cross-talk.