1. To assess the relative importance of vascular as opposed to plasma renin, groups of conscious rats received a single intravenous injection of partially purified rat renin 18 h after bilateral nephrectomy. Blood pressure was monitored continuously and plasma and aortic renin concentrations were determined at 1, 3, 6 or 9 h after injection. In separate groups of rats the effect of the competitive angiotensin II antagonist, saralasin, on blood pressure was measured 3 or 6 h after renin injection.
2. Blood pressure remained elevated for up to 6 h after renin injection, returning to normal by 9 h. Saralasin infusion reversed the rise in blood pressure at both 3 and 6 h after injection.
3. Aortic renin concentration followed the pattern of the pressor response whereas plasma renin concentration had returned to subnormal values by 3 h.
4. Circulating renin of renal origin is taken up by aortic tissue. The pressor response to exogenous renin in rats after bilateral nephrectomy is not related to changes in plasma renin but is similar in duration to the persistence of aortic renin-like activity and can be blocked by saralasin at both 3 and 6 h after injection.