Substance P-like immunoreactivity was localized by an indirect immunohistochemical technique in whole mounts and sections of blood vessels from the guinea-pig. There was a widespread association of nerve fibres that had substance P-like immunoreactivity with blood vessels, extending into all vascular beds. The relative densities of supply of different vessels were assessed visually and a rating scale used to compare them. Large elastic arteries close to the heart had dense networks of immunoreactive nerves associated with them. The density decreased as more peripheral beds were approached, except that there was a particularly dense network of nerves with arteries of the splanchnic beds. Arteries to myocardial, central nervous system, renal, reproductive and skeletal muscle beds all had substance P-immunoreactive nerves associated with them to varying extents. The venae cavae near the heart were densely supplied, but there were few fibres with their more peripheral extensions. Some large veins (e.g. pulmonary, hepatic portal and superior mesenteric) had a few fibres with them, but veins of peripheral vascular beds had very few or no immunoreactive nerve fibres. Substance P-like immunoreactivity in vascular nerves was markedly reduced in guinea-pigs that were injected with capsaicin but was unaffected by the injection of 6-hydroxydopamine. It is concluded that the vascular substance P-immunoreactive nerves are likely to be of sensory origin.