Using the orally active endothelin-A- (ET(A)) receptor antagonist LU135252, we determined whether endothelin-1 (ET-1) and/or dietary fat may be involved in angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) regulation in vivo. In C57BL6/J mice, renal and pulmonary tissue ACE activity (nmol/l His-Leu/mg protein) was measured and ACE mRNA expression, tissue ET-1 protein content and nitrite/nitrate level were measured in the kidney. Western-type diet increased renal ACE activity by 70% (55 +/- 4 vs 33 +/- 3 nmol/l His-Leu/mg protein, p < 0.05) and increased renal ET-1 levels (267 +/- 19 pg/g vs 190 +/- 18, p < 0.05). Chronic LU135252 treatment completely prevented activation of renal ACE activity (13.3 +/- 0.3 His-Leu/mg protein nmol/l, p < 0.05) independent of ACE mRNA expression or renal ET-1 protein levels. Thus, dietary fat activates renal ACE activity and ET-1 is involved in regulation of tissue ACE activity in vivo independently of ACE mRNA expression.