1. A simple, rapid radioimmunoassay of angiotensin I has been applied to the measurement of plasma renin activity.
2. Antibody to angiotensin I was raised in rabbits by injecting angiotensin I conjugated with rabbit serum albumin.
3. Angiotensin I was generated in plasma by 3 h incubation at 37°C and pH 5.5 after adding EDTA and di-isopropylfluorophosphate (DFP).
4. The simple procedure of boiling for 10 min was performed to eliminate the inhibitory effect of plasma protein on immunoassay. After centrifugation, the supernatant was incubated for 18 h with 131I-labelled angiotensin I and antiserum. Free fractions of 131I-labelled angiotensin I were separated using dextran-coated charcoal, and compared with the standard curve.
5. Mean recovery of renin through the method was 91.8%; mean recovery of angiotensin I was 87.0%.
6. Normal values for plasma renin activity (estimated as the rate of generation of angiotensin I) was 1.17±0.90 ng ml−1 h−1; n = 21. Plasma renin activity was normal in essential hypertension; high in chronic glomerulonephritis with oedema; often high in renovascular hypertension; and low in primary aldosteronism.