1. Angiotensin II (AII) antagonists, namely Sar1,Ile8-AII, Sar1,Ala8-AII and Sar1,Thr8-AII, were administered daily for 4 weeks to normotensive rats to study their effect on cardiac hypertrophy.
2. None of the antagonists altered blood pressure significantly but Sar1,Ile8-AII and Sar1,Ala8-AII produced a significant increase in heart weight, as compared with untreated age-matched control rats. Administration of Sar1,Thr8-AII did not produce cardiac hypertrophy.
3. A significant increase in catecholamine concentration was observed in the ventricles of rats treated with Sar1,Ile8-AII and Sar1,Ala8-AII but no change was found in the group treated with the Sar1,Thr8-AII analogue. The production of cardiac hypertrophy by Sar1,Ile8-AII was prevented by bilateral adrenalectomy, suggesting an important role for catecholamines in modulating cardiac hypertrophy.