CP-122,721 [(+)-(2S,3S)-3-(2-methoxy-5-trifluoromethoxybenzyl)amino-2 -phenylpiperidine] interacts with high affinity (pIC50 = 9.8) at the human NK1 receptor expressed in IM-9 cells. In the presence of CP-122,721, there was a reduction in Bmax of [125I]BH-SP binding with no change in affinity suggesting that CP-122,721 does not interact with the NK1 receptor in competitive manner. In an in vitro functional assay. CP-122,721 blocked SP-induced excitation of locus ceruleus cells in guinea pig brain slices with a IC50 value of 7 nM. In vivo, CP-122,721 potently blocked plasma extravasation in guinea pig lung elicited by aerosolized capsaicin (1 mM) with an ID50 = 0.01 mg/kg, p.o. Orally administered CP-122,721 antagonized Sar9, Met (O2)11-SP-induced locomotor activity in guinea pigs with an ID50 = 0.2 mg/kg suggesting good entry into the central nervous system. In addition, consistent with insurmountable blockade observed in vitro, CP-122,721 (0.01, 0.03 0.3 mg/kg, p.o.) produced a rightward shift in the dose response curve for SP-induced hypotension in the awake dog that was accompanied by a decrease in the maximal response. Thus, in vitro and in vivo CP-122,721 appears to behave functionally as a non-competitive antagonist producing an insurmountable blockade of the actions of SP.