In conscious renal artery-ligated rats, a high renin hypertensive rat model, DuP 753, a p.o. active nonpeptide angiotensin II (AII) receptor antagonist, decreased blood pressure at 0.1 to 3 mg/kg given i.v. or at 0.3 to 10 mg/kg given p.o. with an i.v. ED30 of given i.v. or at 0.3 to 10 mg/kg given p.o. with an i.v. ED30 of 0.78 mg/kg and a p.o. ED30 of 0.59 mg/kg. The antihypertensive efficacy of DuP 753 was similar to that of captopril. Unlike the peptide AII antagonist saralasin, DuP 753 did not cause a transient increase in blood pressure, suggesting absence of agonistic activity. At 3 mg/kg p.o., DuP 753 lowered blood pressure for at least 24 hr and did not change heart rate, suggesting a long duration of antihypertensive effect. At 3 mg/kg i.v., DuP 753 inhibited the pressor response to AII but not to norepinephrine or vasopressin. Pretreatment of renal artery-ligated rats with captopril, saralasin or propranolol, but not with prazosin, hydralazine or indomethacin, abolished or reduced the antihypertensive effect of DuP 753. In the deoxycorticosterone acetate hypertensive rat, a low renin model, DuP 753 did not lower blood pressure. These results suggest that DuP 753 is a p.o. active, antihypertensive agent in renal artery-ligated rats with a similar antihypertensive efficacy as captopril. The antihypertensive effect of DuP 753 is most likely related to the blockade of the vasoconstrictor effect of AII. Unlike saralasin, DuP 753 does not have agonistic activity.