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This study was designed to assess the contribution of thromboxane (Tx) A2 to the pathogenesis of renal dysfunction in rats with angiotensin II (Ang ID-salt hypertension. Hypertension was induced in rats drinking 0.15mol/l NaCI by infusion of Ang II (125ng/min, intraperitoneaily) for 12 days. Relative to values in water- and saline-drinking rats without Ang II infusion, rats with Angll-salt hypertension exhibited increased renal vascular resistance, decreased renal blood flow, and increased renal excretion and glomerular synthesis of TxB2. Treatment with an inhibitor of TxA2 synthesis, UK 38,485, had no effect on renal function in normotensive and hypertensive rats. Similarly, the TxA2 and prostaglandin endoperoxide antagonist SQ 29,548 did not affect renal function in normotensive rats. In contrast, in rats with Angll-salt hypertension of 12 days' duration, SQ 29,548 caused a reduction in renal vascular resistance, allowing for maintenance of renal blood flow in the face of an accompanying reduction in blood pressure. A comparable reduction in renal perfusion pressure, produced by constriction of the abdominal aorta above the renal arteries, was not accompanied by a reduction in renal vascular resistance in Ang ll-salt hypertensive rats. Therefore, the SQ 29,548-induced lowering of renal vascular resistance is attributable not to renal blood flow autoregulation, but to blockade of the renal vasoconstrictor actions of TxA2 and/or prostaglandin endoperoxides. This interpretation implies that pressor eicosanoids contribute to increase renal vascular resistance in rats with severe Angll-salt hypertension.