Combined neutral endopeptidase (NEP) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition produces greater acute hemodynamic effects than either treatment alone. We investigated whether BMS-182657 (BMS), which bears inhibitory activities against both NEP and ACE, elicited similar enhanced effects. BMS inhibited NEP and ACE, in vitro (IC50 = 6 and 12 nM, respectively) and the pressor response to Ang I in rats. In deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt hypertensive rats sensitive to NEP inhibition but not to ACE inhibition, BMS at 100 mumol/kg i.v. lowered mean arterial pressure (MAP) from 180 +/- 6 to 151 +/- 5 mm Hg. In sodium-depleted, spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) sensitive to ACE inhibition but not to NEP inhibition, BMS at 100 mumol/kg p.o. lowered MAP from 151 +/- 4 to 123 +/- 5 mm Hg. Cardiomyopathic hamsters with heart failure were administered vehicle or one of the following (30 mumol/kg i.v.): the ACE inhibitor enalaprilat; the NEP inhibitor SQ-28603; or BMS. Enalaprilat and SQ-28603 had minimal hemodynamic effects. BMS decreased left ventricular end-diastolic pressure by 12 +/- 2 and 10 +/- 1 mm Hg and left ventricular systolic pressure by 27 +/- 2 and 23 +/- 3 mm Hg at 30 and 60 min, respectively (P < .05 vs. each other group). These changes were associated with a 40% increase in cardiac output, a 47% decrease in peripheral vascular resistance and a lowering of MAP by 21 +/- 3 mm Hg at 60 min (P < .05 vs. each other group). There were no significant differences in the changes in heart rate or left ventricular stroke work index among the four groups. Hence, BMS-182657 is a dual inhibitor of NEP and ACE, is antihypertensive irrespective of the activity of the renin-angiotensin system and has acute hemodynamic effects in hamsters with heart failure greater than those produced by selective inhibition of NEP or ACE. The NEP and ACE inhibitory activities of BMS-182657 act synergistically and mimic the interaction resulting from combining selective inhibitors of these enzymes.