1. Seven healthy sodium-replete male volunteer subjects remained supine during and for at least 1 h before the study. Heart rate and blood pressure were recorded continuously, and peripheral venous blood samples were taken every 15 min for determinations of plasma renin activity.
2. All subjects were studied twice: after 3 days of oral practolol (100 mg, three times daily) and after a similar period on placebo. Each study consisted of an intravenous infusion of isoprenaline in graded doses (0–2·0 μg/min in the placebo phase; 0–16 μg/min in the practolol phase), followed after rest for 2 h by an intravenous infusion of salbutamol (0–20 μg/min after placebo; 0–80 μg/min after practolol).
3. Both salbutamol and isoprenaline produced dose-related increases in systolic blood pressure, heart rate and plasma renin activity and decreases in diastolic pressure.
4. The increases in heart rate and plasma renin activity induced by either agonist were competitively blocked by practolol, as was the fall in diastolic blood pressure induced by isoprenaline; the salbutamol-induced fall of diastolic blood pressure was unaffected by practolol.
5. Comparison of dose ratio — 1 estimates confirmed that practolol selectively blocked increases in heart rate and plasma renin activity due to salbutamol; no selective blockade against isoprenaline-induced changes was shown.
6. Selective blockade of salbutamol-induced changes indicate that a β1-adrenoreceptor mediates changes in plasma renin activity.