Phosphorothioated antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ASODN) targeted to angiotensinogen mRNA was administered intracerebroventricularly in spontaneously hypertensive rats to test whether angiotensinogen reduction would lower their hypertensive blood pressures. The ASODN lowers hypertensive blood pressures to normotensive levels in spontaneously hypertensive rats; sense oligodeoxynucleotide had no effect. Administration of phosphorothioated ASODN produced a prolonged duration of lowered blood pressure. Injections of ASODN at the same dose that decreased hypertension when administered centrally did not result in blood pressure decreases when administered intra-arterially. Furthermore, angiotensinogen production was decreased in the brain stem and significantly decreased in the hypothalamus of the ASODN-treated rats (P < .05), supporting the concept of centrally mediated regulation of hypertension by an overactive brain angiotensin system. To determine the distribution of centrally administered oligodeoxynucleotides, fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated oligodeoxynucleotides were injected directly into the lateral ventricles. One hour later, oligodeoxynucleotides were distributed throughout the lateral and third ventricles, with tissue and cellular uptake observed in discrete cells at the injection site. This indicates that the oligodeoxynucleotides are taken up rapidly by brain cells and that they permeate the areas surrounding brain nuclei involved in central blood pressure regulation and volume homeostasis. The results confirm and extend our previous study with phosphodiester ASODN and show that phosphorothioation modification increases the duration of the response and is taken up in vivo. We conclude that with modification, ASODN inhibition of angiotensinogen mRNA translation can be used for a prolonged, profound decrease in mean arterial pressure in the spontaneously hypertensive rat through a central mechanism.