1.) Total renin, active renin, prorenin, angiotensin II, estradiol and progesterone were measured in maternal, placental and fetal blood and in trophoblastic and uterine tissues of the guinea pig. Furthermore, membrane angiotensin II receptors were measured in trophoblastic tissues. 2.) Blood and tissue concentrations of total renin, active renin, angiotensin II and steroids are shown to increase with gestational age. At the full term of pregnancy (70th post-coital day), tissue concentrations of total renin in chorion (23,900 +/- 2,752 ng/g of tissue/h), maternal placenta (14,210 +/- 1,131), fetal placenta (12,475 +/- 927) and uterus (7,677 +/- 798) are 100 time higher than those observed in placental, fetal and maternal blood. Distribution of blood and tissue prorenin (inactive renin) is similar to that found for total renin. Active renin/Total renin ratio reaches 1% in uterine, placental and chorion tissues and 9.3 +/- 1.0% in maternal, placental and fetal blood. 3.) Angiotensin II levels in systemic maternal blood (690 +/- 99 pg/ml) and in uterine blood (467 +/- 84) are higher than those found in placental blood (266 +/- 39) and in different trophoblastic tissues (between 200 and 400 pg/g). Angiotensin II receptor concentrations are highest in chorion. 4.) Regarding the steroid hormones, it is noted that placental and maternal blood contain more progesterone than trophoblastic tissues. The highest concentrations of estradiol are found in chorion tissue and uterine blood. 5.) A positive correlation is observed between angiotensin II and estradiol in uterine blood (r = 0.69, P less than 0.01) and in chorion (r = 0.71, P less than 0.01). These findings indicate that angiotensin II and estradiol could, by their interactions, play an important role in the physiology of pregnancy.