1. Angiotensin II blockade before and after marked sodium depletion in patients with hypertension [unilateral renovascular (eight), bilateral renovascular (four) and essential (four)] was performed by intravenous administration of the angiotensin II antagonist Sar1-Ala8-angiotensin II (saralasin).
2. On normal sodium intake, saralasin decreased mean blood pressure by 8 mmHg in the unilateral renovascular group, by 6 mmHg in the bilateral renovascular group and increased it by 3 mmHg in the essential hypertensive group. After sodium depletion saralasin decreased mean blood pressure by 33 mmHg, 35 mmHg and 18 mmHg respectively. The saralasin-induced decrease in blood pressure significantly correlated with the log of the initial plasma renin activity.
3. Saralasin infusion decreased effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) in all three hypertension subgroups, both on normal sodium intake and after sodium depletion. Glomerular filtration rate decreased in direct relation to the hypotensive effect of saralasin but ERPF showed this relationship only after sodium depletion. On normal sodium intake saralasin increased filtration fraction by 17%, but decreased it by 7% after sodium depletion.
4. It is concluded that the hypotensive action of saralasin closely correlates with the value of circulating plasma renin activity, apparently independent of the aetiology of the hypertension. The decrease in ERPF during saralasin infusion in the patients on normal sodium intake seems mainly related to the agonistic activity of saralasin, but that after sodium depletion to the hypotensive effect of saralasin.