Monoclonal antibody M-35, which immunoprecipitates native calf brain acetylcholine muscarinic receptor, mimics agonist stimulation of the intact guinea pig myometrium: the antibody, just like carbamoylcholine hydrochloride, causes a rise in intracellular cyclic GMP content, an inhibition of cyclic AMP accumulation due to prostacyclin, and induces uterine contractions. Another antibody, M-23, which reacts with the denatured muscarinic receptor, is devoid of agonist-like activity at the cyclic nucleotide level but is still able to induce contractions of both rat and guinea pig myometrium. The cyclic nucleotide changes caused by both carbamoylcholine and antibody M-35 are inhibited by atropine; this antagonist, which blocks carbamoylcholine-mediated contractions, fails however, to prevent contractions induced by antibodies M-35 and M-23. These results suggest that the information necessary to transmit muscarinic signals is entirely contained in the receptor and that ligands only act to trigger the biological response. The data also imply that the muscarinic receptors of the myometrium are coupled to multiple effector systems.