This study examined the sympathoinhibitory effects of clonidine and a novel clonidine analog, AL-12, in rat models of genetic hypertension and a combined state of genetic hypertension and diabetes. Rats in the treatment groups were given either clonidine or AL-12 while the respective control groups received either saline or Tween 80 for 6 days. Physiological data were collected during this period, which was followed by acute studies on day 7 when bolus administrations (i.v.) of graded doses of noradrenaline, phenylephrine and methoxamine were carried out. It was observed that in AL-12-treated nondiabetic spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), the pressure responses to all adrenergic agonists were greater (p < 0.05) in the treated group, while in the diabetic SHR rats a larger pressure response was observed only to noradrenaline (p < 0.05). In nondiabetic SHR rats treated with clonidine, a greater (p < 0.05) pressure response was observed only in the case of phenylephrine. In the diabetic SHR rats treated with clonidine, the pressure responses to the adrenergic agonists were similar (p > 0.05) in the treated and its control animals except that methoxamine caused a greater (p < 0.05) pressure response in the control group. The data obtained suggest that clonidine and AL-12 act possibly via vascular alpha 1 and alpha 2 adrenoceptors present at both pre- and postsynaptic locations. copyright 2008 Prous Science, S.A.U. or its licensors. All rights reserved.