1. Propranolol has been given orally in a dose sufficient to achieve beta-blockade throughout the day in normal rats, renal hypertensive animals with and without contralateral nephrectomy, spontaneously hypertensive and deoxycorticosterone (DOCA) hypertensive rats. The drug was given either after hypertension had become fully established or during the phase of rising blood pressure.
2. With this treatment, heart rate was reduced by approximately 100 beats/min in all experimental groups.
3. In established hypertension, treatment with propranolol for 7–9 days was ineffective in lowering blood pressure in any of the models of experimental hypertension. It also had no effect on blood pressure in normal animals.
4. Chronic treatment with propranolol during the phase of rising blood pressure had no effect in renal hypertensive animals. In spontaneous hypertension, the rise in blood pressure was limited to 28 mmHg with propranolol treatment as compared with 58 mmHg in control animals. Likewise, in DOCA hypertension, the rise in pressure was limited to 18 mmHg as compared with 46 mmHg in control animals.