The purpose of this study was to determine if the changes in renal function acutely produced by an inhibitor of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) in the sodium-depleted conscious marmoset can be explained primarily by blockade of the renin-angiotensin system. Intravenous injection of a dose of the ACEI, enalaprilate (2 mg/kg), that produced a maximal lowering of blood pressure (BP), also decreased renal vascular resistance and increased renal blood flow. Glomerular filtration rate was unchanged by enalaprilat, leading to a fall in the filtration fraction. In comparison, a dose of the renin inhibitory monoclonal antibody, R-3-36-16 (0.1 mg/kg), that also produced a maximal fall in BP, produced similar changes in renal hemodynamics to those observed after administration of the ACEI. Combined administration of 2 mg/kg enalaprilat and 0.1 mg/kg R-3-36-16 produced changes in BP and renal hemodynamics similar to those produced by the same doses of either agent administered alone. Enalaprilat (2 mg/kg) significantly increased urine volume (UV) and urinary sodium excretion (UNaV). In contrast, these parameters were not significantly altered by 0.1 mg/kg R-3-36-16. However, when given at a 10-fold higher dose, the monoclonal antibody produced an increase in UNaV and UV identical to that produced by the ACEI alone. Enalaprilat did not increase UV and UNaV excretion to a greater extent than the high dose of the renin inhibitory antibody. These results demonstrate that acute administration of an ACEI affects BP and renal function in the sodium-depleted conscious primate primarily by inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system.