1 The present work examined the effects of the subtype 2 of angiotensin II (AT(2)) receptors on the pressure-natriuresis using a new peptide agonist, and the possible involvement of cyclic guanosine 3', 5' monophosphate (cyclic GMP) in these effects. 2 In adult anaesthetized rats (Inactin, 100 mg kg(-1), i.p.) deprived of endogenous angiotensin II by angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition (quinapril, 10 mg kg(-1), i.v.), T-2-(Ang II 4-8)(2) (TA), a highly specific AT(2) receptor agonist (5, 10 and 30 mu g kg(-1) min(-1) i.v.) or its solvent was infused in four groups. Renal functions were studied at renal perfusion pressures (RPP) of 30, 110 and 130 mmHg and urinary cyclic GMP excretion when RPP was at 130 mmHg. The effects of TA (10 mu g kg(-1) min(-1)) were reassessed in animals pretreated with PD 123319 (PD, 50 mu g kg(-1) min(-1), i.v.), an AT(2) receptor antagonist and the action of the same dose of PD alone was also determined. 3 Increases in RPP from 90 to 130 mmHg did not change renal blood flow (RBF) but induced 8 and 15 fold increases in urinary flow and sodium excretion respectively. The 5 mu g kg(-1) min(-1) dose of TA was devoid of action. The 10 and 30 pg kg(-1) min(-1) doses did not alter total RBF and glomerular filtration rate, but blunted pressure-diuresis and natriuresis relationships. These effects were abolished by PD. 4 TA decreased urinary cyclic GMP excretion. After pretreatment with PD, this decrease was reversed to an increase which was also observed in animals receiving PD alone. 5 In conclusion, renal AT(2) receptors oppose the sodium and water excretion induced by acute increases in blood pressure and this action cannot be directly explained by changes in cyclic GMP.