Prostaglandins (PGs) in the E-series exhibit potent gastric antisecretory activity, but can also cause diarrhea, which is mediated via PGE receptors. SC-46275, an omega-chain cyclopentenyl analog of the E-type PG enisoprost, was evaluated with other E-PGs for PGE receptor binding activity in gastric and intestinal tissues. SC-46275, enisoprost, misoprostol and PGE1 were first evaluated in enriched canine gastric parietal cells with [3H]misoprostol free acid binding and subsequently with [3H]PGE1 binding in canine intestinal tissues where misoprostol free acid had weak receptor binding activity. The receptor binding potency of SC-46275 (IC50, 0.013 mM) in enriched canine parietal cell preparations was found to be much greater than misoprostol and enisoprost (IC50, 10 and 8 nM), whereas PGE1 had the least potency (IC50, 37 nM). Similar relative potencies for these PGs were also obtained in the inhibition of histamine-stimulated acid secretion in enriched parietal cell preparations. In small intestinal mucosal and muscle membranes, the receptor binding potency of SC-46275 (IC50, 13 and 20 microM) was much less than misoprostol or enisoprost (IC50, 0.39-1.2 microM) and substantially less than PGE1 (IC50, 0.017 and 0.066 microM). This weak binding activity of SC-46275 in intestinal tissues is consistent with its reported weak diarrheagenic activity in the rat. These results suggest that SC-46275 binds preferentially to gastric vs. intestinal PGE receptors and is specific for the EP3 receptors.