The influence of intracellular renin on the inward calcium current in isolated smooth muscle cells from SHR mesenteric arteries was investigated. Measurements of calcium current were performed using the whole cell configuration of pCLAMP. The results indicated that: 1) renin (100 nM) dialyzed into smooth muscle cells, increased the inward calcium current; 2) verapamil (10–9 M) administered to the bath inhibited the effect of renin on the inward calcium current; 3) concurrently with the increase of calcium current a depolarization of 6.8 +/− 2.1 mV (n = 16)(P < 0.05) was found in cells dialyzed with renin; 4) intracellular dialysis of renin (100 nM) into smooth muscle cells isolated from mesenteric arteries of normal Wystar Kyoto rats showed no significant change on calcium current; 5) aliskiren (10–9 M) dialyzed into the cell together with renin (100 nM) abolished the effect of the enzyme on the calcium current in SHR; 6) Ang II (100 nM) dialyzed into the smooth muscle cell from mesenteric artery of SHR in absence of renin, decreased the calcium current-an effect greatly reduced by valsartan (10–9 M) added to the cytosol; 7) administration of renin (100 nM) plus angiotensinogen (100 nM) into the cytosol of muscles cells from SHR rats reduced the inward calcium current; 8) extracellular administration of Ang II (100 nM) increased the inward calcium current in mesenteric arteries of SHR. Conclusions: intracellular renin in vascular resistance vessels from SHR due to internalization or expression, contributes to the regulation of vascular tone and control of peripheral resistance-an effect independently of Ang II. Implications for hypertension and vascular remodeling are discussed.