1. The effects of angiotensin II (ANG II) infusion without and with simultaneous infusion of prostacyclin (PGI2; 1.4 pmol min−1 kg−1; 5 ng min−1 kg−1) have been studied in 16 women in second-trimester pregnancy. Ten received one infusion of ANG II alone, followed by its infusion together with PGI2; the remainder received two identical infusions of ANG II alone as controls.
2. PGI2 administration was associated with a small fall in diastolic pressure (P < 0.01) and a proportionally greater rise in heart rate (P < 0.001). Small rises in basal plasma renin and ANG II concentrations and a fall in aldosterone concentration were not statistically significant.
3. The diastolic pressor response to ANG II was blunted during PGI2 infusion by comparison with controls (P < 0.025); this diminution in response was greatest in patients who had initially been most sensitive to ANG II (P < 0.02).
4. The evoked increment in plasma aldosterone during ANG II infusion was considerably reduced (P < 0.005) in the presence of PGI2.
5. These data further support the hypothesis of a role for PGI2 in relation to the blunted pressor response to ANG II of normal pregnancy. The apparent inhibitory effects of PGI2 on aldosterone secretion may partly explain the previously described dissociation between the renin-angiotensin system and aldosterone in pregnancy.