The effect of angiotensin II on blood pressure and perfusion of blood through the cortex and papilla regions of the kidney was determined in pentobarbitone-anaesthetized rats which were subjected to laser-Doppler flowmetry to estimate regional renal haemodynamics. Angiotensin II was infused at 10, 45 and 150 ng (kg body weight-1 min-1) which caused dose-related increases in blood pressure of 3, 12 and 24%, respectively, and decreases in cortical perfusion of 9, 15 and 24%, respectively. Papillary perfusion did not change at any dose of angiotensin II. This pattern and magnitude of responses to angiotensin II in blood pressure, cortical and papillary perfusions was essentially unaffected (a) following blockade of cyclo-oxygenase activity with indomethacin (1.3 mg kg-1 plus 2 mg kg-1 h-1), (b) during infusion of a bradykinin antagonist, at 1.3 micrograms min-1, (c) when renal perfusion pressure was regulated at control levels and (d) following Methylene Blue administration to inhibit potential endothelial-derived relaxing factor production. By contrast, infusion of phenylephrine at 5, 10 and 20 micrograms kg-1 min-1 caused dose-related increases in blood pressure and decreases in both cortical and papillary perfusions reaching some 28, 7 and 17% respectively at the highest dose of phenylephrine used. These results showed that both cortex and papilla were sensitive to vasoconstrictor agents. They are compatible with the suggestion that angiotensin II regulates cortical but not papillary perfusion in the kidney, and that these responses do not depend on prostaglandin, bradykinin, renal perfusion pressure or endothelium-derived relaxing factor.