The effects of betaxolol, a cardioselective beta-adrenoceptor antagonist, on ischemic myocardial acidosis were studied in dog hearts, in which the left anterior descending coronary artery was partially occluded for 90 min, and were compared with those of atenolol and propranolol. Myocardial ischemia produced a decrease in myocardial pH (measured by a micro glass pH electrode) and an elevation of the ST segment of epicardial ECG (assessed by a surface electrode). Betaxolol (0.01, 0.03 or 0.1 mg/kg), atenolol (0.03 or 0.1 mg/kg) or propranolol (0.03 or 0.1 mg/kg), when injected i.v. 30 min after ischemia, restored myocardial pH and the ST segment of ECG that had been altered by partial occlusion. However, the effect of betaxolol on myocardial acidosis was more potent than that of atenolol or propranolol. The decrease in (+)dp/dt by betaxolol (0.03 mg/kg) was less potent than that by atenolol (0.1 mg/kg) and equivalent to that by propranolol (0.1 mg/kg), although the restorations of myocardial acidosis by the drugs were almost equivalent. These results have confirmed that beta-adrenoceptor antagonists attenuate the ischemia-induced myocardial acidosis and have shown that among three beta-adrenoceptor antagonists, betaxolol is the most effective in improving myocardial acidosis with a relatively weak effect on myocardial contractile function.