Substitution of Asn5 in oxytocin (OT) or vasopressin (VP) invariably leads to a dramatic loss of the biological activities of the peptides. Because of this observation, few structure-activity-relationship studies of OT and VP peptides have involved modifications in the 5 position. It is now recognized that peptide agonists and antagonists may use different structural and conformational features in their interactions with the receptors. Our prior studies showed that OT and VP antagonists, unlike the agonists, tolerate amino acid substitutions in the 5 position. This opens new approaches for the design of antagonists. We describe the effects of isosteric replacement of Asn5 by diaminopropionic acid (Dap) or diaminobutyric acid (Dab) in three OT and VP antagonists: (1) the V1a (vasopressor receptor) antagonist d(CH2)5[Tyr(Me)2]AVP; (2) the OT (uterine OT receptor) antagonist d(CH2)5[Tyr(Me)2, Thr4, Tyr-NH29] OVT and (3) three selective OT antagonists, desGly-NH2,d(CH2)5[D-Tyr2, Thr4]OVT, desGly-NH2, d(CH2)5[D-Phe2, Thr4]OVT and desGly-NH2, d(CH2)5- [D-Trp2, Thr4]OVT. The Dap5 and Dab5 substitutions were tolerated remarkably well, with the less isosteric Dap5 substitution leading to a greater retention of anti-OT potency than the Dab5 substitution. Furthermore, the Dap5 and Dab5 and OT and VP antagonist analogues were surprisingly shown to be much more selective than their respective parent compounds. The Dab5 analogue of (1) was devoid of anti-OT activity. The three Dap5 analogues of (3) were devoid of anti-V1a activities. These appear to be the first single-receptor-type-selective OT and VP antagonists discovered to date. These findings could provide new leads for the development of single-receptor-type-selective receptor probes for the localization and characterization of OT and VP receptors and potential selective tocolytics for the treatment of premature labor.