1. There is evidence that hyperinsulinaemia increases the aldosterone response to angiotensin II, and that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor drugs enhance peripheral glucose utilization, but the direct effects of angiotensin II on insulin sensitivity have not been reported previously.
2. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study, 12 healthy male subjects attended on 3 study days for the evaluation of the effects of a subpressor (1 ng min−1 kg−1) and pressor (5 ng min−1 kg−1) infusion of angiotensin II on whole-body insulin sensitivity using the euglycaemic hyperinsulin-aemic clamp. Frequent measurements of blood pressure and heart rate were recorded and blood samples were collected for determination of serum insulin, C-peptide and K+ concentration, plasma renin activity and plasma angiotensin II concentration.
3. Plasma angiotensin II concentrations (means +SD) were 11+5 pg/ml after placebo, and 27+9 and 125+28 pg/ml after low and high dose angiotensin II, respectively. The higher dose of angiotensin II was associated with significant increases in blood pressure (e.g. 13 mmHg systolic blood pressure at 150 min) and serum aldosterone concentration. Whole-body insulin sensitivity was 10.5 + 2 mg of glucose min−1 kg−1 after placebo, and 10.5 +2.2 and 10.9+3.4 mg of glucose min−1 kg−1 after low and high dose angiotensin II (not significant).
4. Angiotensin II had no effect on hyperinsulinaemia-induced reductions in serum potassium and triacyl-glycerol concentrations.
5. Thus, acute infusion of angiotensin II for 3 h, with or without an increase in blood pressure, has no effect on whole-body insulin sensitivity.