The present study aimed to investigate the possible beneficial effects of the cysteinyl leukotriene-1 receptor antagonist montelukast on contractility and oxidant damage after ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) of rat urinary bladder. The abdominal aorta of Sprague-Dawley rats was occluded to induce I/R. Montelukast (10 mg kg(-1)) or saline was administered intraperitoneally before I/R. In the sham-operated group, the abdominal aorta was left intact and the animals were treated with montelukast or saline. After decapitation, the bladder was removed and the tissue was either used for functional studies or stored for biochemical assays. In the I/R group, the isometric contractile responses of the bladder strips to carbachol (10(-8)-10(-4) M) were lower than those of the control group and were reversed by treatment with montelukast. Lipid peroxidation and myeloperoxidase activity of the bladder tissues in the I/R group were greater than in the sham-operated group. Montelukast treatment in the I/R group decreased these parameters compared with I/R alone. Similarly, the significant decrease in tissue glutathione level in the I/R group compared with controls was also prevented by montelukast. Treatment with montelukast almost completely reversed the low contractile responses of rat urinary bladder to carbachol and prevented oxidative tissue damage following I/R.