Cannabinoid CB1-receptor stimulation in DDT1 MF-2 smooth muscle cells induces a rise in [Ca2+]i, which is dependent on extracellular Ca2+ and modulated by thapsigargin-sensitive stores, suggesting capacitative Ca2+ entry (CCE), and by MAP kinase. Non-capacitative Ca2+ entry (NCCE) stimulated by arachidonic acid (AA) partly mediates histamine H1-receptor-evoked increases in [Ca2+]i in DDT1 MF-2 cells. In the current study, both Ca2+ entry mechanisms and a possible link between MAP kinase activation and increasing [Ca2+]i were investigated. In the whole-cell patch clamp configuration, the CB-receptor agonist CP 55, 940 evoked a transient, Ca2+-dependent K+ current, which was not blocked by the inhibitors of CCE, 2-APB, and SKF 96365. AA, but not its metabolites, evoked a transient outward current and inhibited the response to CP 55,940 in a concentration-dependent manner. CP 55,940 induced a concentration-dependent release of AA, which was inhibited by the CB1 antagonist SR 141716. The non-selective Ca2+ channel blockers La3+ and Gd3+ inhibited the CP 55,940-induced current at concentrations that had no effect on thapsigargin-evoked CCE. La3+ also inhibited the AA-induced current. CP 55,940-induced AA release was abolished by Gd3+ and by phospholipase A2 inhibition using quinacrine; this compound also inhibited the outward current. The CP 55,940-induced AA release was strongly reduced by the MAP kinase inhibitor PD 98059. The data suggest that in DDT1 MF-2 cells, AA is an integral component of the CB1 receptor signaling pathway, upstream of NCCE and, via PLA2, downstream of MAP kinase. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.