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In anesthetized, normotensive Wistar rats, Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), 100 pg [Arg8]-vasopressin was micro-injected bilaterally into the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS). Blood pressure and the interbeat heart interval were measured. In both Wistar rats and WKY the interbeat interval was prolonged and blood pressure was decreased, while in SHR only the interbeat interval was prolonged. Thus, within a very low dose range, the influence of [Arg8]-vasopressin within the NTS on mechanisms of cardiovascular regulation seems to differ between normotensive rats and SHR.