The selective monoamine oxidase-B inhibitor selegiline (deprenyl) causes sympathomimetic effects and is metabolised to R(-)-methamphetamine and R(-)-amphetamine. The new monoamine oxidase-B inhibitor rasagiline is devoid of sympathomimetic effects and is metabolised to R(+)-1-aminoindan. Sympathomimetic effects of methamphetamine and 1-aminoindan enantiomers were compared in the rat vas deferens. R(-)-methamphetamine and S(+)-methamphetamine caused initial potentiation and subsequent inhibition of the field stimulation-induced twitch response of isolated rat vas deferens (0.1 Hz). EC(50) values for inhibition of twitch in prazosin-treated vas deferens were 0.36+/-0.13 and 1.64+/-0.10 microM (mean+/-S.E.M.) for S(+)- and R(-)-methamphetamine, respectively. There was no difference between S(+)-methamphetamine and R(-)-methamphetamine in potentiation of postsynaptic contractile response to noradrenaline. R(+)- and S(-)-1-aminoindan increased twitch response only at concentrations above 30 microM. R(-)-methamphetamine has similar potency to S(+)-methamphetamine in potentiation of noradrenaline-mediated responses and can therefore play a role in the sympathomimetic effects of selegiline.