To examine the role of vasopressin (AVP) receptors in the regulation of the hemodynamics and release of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), and the participation of renal nerve inputs in the osmotic AVP release, hypertonic saline (HS) was infused into conscious, bilaterally nephrectomized rats with non-peptide, selective antagonists for the V1-receptor or V2-receptor of AVP. In the control group, HS alone increased mean arterial pressure, plasma ANP and AVP, plasma volume and plasma osmolality, and decreased the heart rate. In the V1-receptor antagonist group, an increase in the mean arterial pressure and a decrease in heart rate were completely abolished and an increase in plasma ANP was attenuated. In the V2-receptor antagonist group, increases in mean arterial pressure and plasma ANP and a decrease in heart rate were attenuated. However, the ratio of the changes in heart rate to the changes in mean arterial pressure in the V2-receptor antagonist group is significantly higher than that in the control group. In both experimental groups, increases in plasma AVP, plasma volume and plasma osmolality were not different from those in the control group. These results suggest that a HS-induced increase in mean arterial pressure is mediated by the pressor effect of AVP, mainly through V1-receptors, and that the depressor effect of AVP through V2-receptors may not influence tonically HS-induced hypertension. Moreover, HS-induced increase in plasma ANP is mediated mainly by increases in plasma volume and blood pressure, but may not be affected by a direct action of AVP to the heart. Renal afferent nerve inputs may not have effects on the regulation of osmotic AVP release.