Abstract A series of arterial micropressure measurements in different skeletal muscles of the Wistar-Kyoto and spontaneously hypertensive rat is presented. The micropunctures were carried out with minimal surgical intervention through small skin incisions and the micropressures were recorded simultaneously with femoral artery pressures. The measurement sites were located at the entry points into the muscles for the proximal and distal supply arteries and at the midpoint of the arteriolar arcade bridge which directly connects these two supply arteries in the center of the muscle parenchyma. In contrast to feed artery pressure values from exteriorized muscles, which in the past have been reported to be as low as 40 mm Hg, the current mean pressure values are substantially higher and in the range between 70 and 100 mm Hg, equivalent to 70 to 90% of the mean systemic pressure. Systolic and diastolic values exhibit comparable trends to the mean pressures and they are similar in muscles at different locations in the body. Although in spontaneously hypertensive rats the absolute pressures were significantly higher compared with their controls, the normalized pressures were virtually identical at the locations used in this study. These data indicate that the absolute pressure in the central arteries of spontaneously hypertensive animals is reduced to a greater degree than in Wistar-Kyoto rats, while in both strains the major pressure reduction in skeletal muscle still occurs in the microcirculation.