1. Isolated rat kidneys were perfused at a constant pressure of 90 mmHg in a single-pass system with either a cell-free medium or a suspension of washed bovine red blood cells, free of the components of the renin-angiotensin system. In red blood cell perfused kidneys renal haemodynamics and sodium reabsorption corresponded closer to values observed in the intact rat than in cell-free perfused kidneys. 2. In red blood cell-perfused kidneys in the absence of plasma renin substrate autoregulation of renal blood flow was almost complete at pressures above 90 mmHg, provided that perfusion pressure was changed rapidly. 3. Renin release varied inversely with perfusion pressure within a pressure range from 50 to 150 mmHg; the greatest changes of renin release occurred, when perfusion pressure was reduced from 90 to 70 mmHg; maximal stimulation of renin release was observed at 50 mmHg. After reduction of perfusion pressure, renin release immediately started to rise and reached a new level within 5 min. Local reduction of perfusion pressure in small arteries and arterioles by the injection of microspheres induced a short-lasting decrease in renal plasma flow and a transient stimulation of renin release. 4. High concentrations of furosemide stimulated renin release by a direct intrarenal mechanism. 5. Isoproterenol stimulated renin release in low concentrations without a concomitant vasodilation, whereas high concentrations induced an increase in both renal plasma flow and renin release. The effects of isoproterenol were completely blocked by propranolol. 6. Sodium nitroprusside induced similar increases in renal plasma flow, as did high concentrations of isoproterenol, but only a small and slow increase in renin release was observed. 7. Angiotensin II (AII) suppressed renin release in concentrations corresponding to plasma levels measured in the intact rat independently of its vasoconstrictor effects, whereas vasopressin in antidiuretic concentrations did not affect renin release. 8. AII, AI, synthetic tetradecapeptide renin substrate (TDP), crude and purified rat plasma renin substrate induced a dose-dependent reduction in renal plasma flow. SQ 20 881, a competitive inhibitor of converting enzyme, and low doses of 1-Sar-8-Ala-AII (saralasin), a competitive antagonist of AII, did not change renal plasma flow, whereas high concentrations of saralasin had a vasoconstrictor effect on their own. 9. Saralasin inhibited the vasoconstrictor effects of AII and TDP to a similar degree. SQ 20 881 inhibited the vasoconstrictor effects of AI and purified renin substrate, but did not influence the actions of TDP and the crude renin substrate preparation. 10. From these data it is concluded, that AI is converted into AII within the kidney at a rate of 1-2%. The vasoconstriction induced by the crude renin substrate probably does not involve the AII receptors. TDP may act by itself on the AII receptors or via the direct intrarenal formation of of AII. The vasoconstriction induced by purified renin substrate is probably due to the intrarenal formation of AI and its subsequent conversion to AII.