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There is controversy in the literature concerning the effect of short-term insulin administration on blood pressure in different experimental situations, because in some experiments this association is clear, whereas in others it is nonexistent.To investigate whether there is a difference in the effect of exogenous insulin administration on the blood pressure of normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats and hypertensive spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR).Hyperinsulinaemia was induced in normotensive WKY rats and in hypertensive SHR by the administration of long-acting insulin (insulin retard 0.4 U/kg body weight per day in one group and 0.8 U/kg body weight per day in another group) once a day, intraperitoneally, for 3 weeks. All of the rats drank a 10% sucrose solution, to prevent hypoglycaemia in those receiving insulin.Baseline serum levels were significantly higher in the SHR groups than in the WKY rat groups. At the end of the experiment, after 3 weeks' insulin therapy, systolic blood pressure measured by the tail-cuff method showed a significant increase in the SHR, but not in the WKY rats, possibly because of the genetic predisposition of the SHR to increase their blood pressure. The increase was similar in the SHR given 0.4 U/kg body weight per day insulin retard to that in those given 0.8 U/kg per day.Exogenous insulin increased systolic blood pressure in the SHR but not in the WKY rats. The rise was similar in rats receiving either 0.4 or 0.8 U/kg body weight per day insulin retard.