There is accumulating evidence suggesting that adrenomedullin (AM) may participate in the regulation of circulatory homeostasis and pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease. A recent study revealed that two molecular forms of AM, an active form of mature AM (AM-m) and an intermediate inactive form of glycine-extended AM (AM-Gly), circulate in human plasma. The object of the present study was to evaluate the effect of orthostasis on a time course of two molecular forms of plasma AM and to compare them with the behavior of other vasoactive hormones. Twelve healthy male volunteers were studied. The experimental protocol consisted of 20 min of supine rest, tilting at 70 degrees for 20 min, and then 20 min of supine rest. Blood pressure and heart rate were measured every minute. Blood samples were obtained before, at 2 and 18 min during the tilt test, and 2 and 18 min after the test for the measurements of vasoacting hormones and hematocrit. Blood pressure and heart rate were slightly increased earlier during tilting and then remained elevated until the end of the test. The increase in heart rate and blood pressure returned to normal levels early after the tilt test. Plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine significantly increased during the tilt test. These hormones returned to normal levels 18 min after the test. The plasma renin activity, antidiuretic hormone and dopamine were also increased by the end of the tilt test, whereas plasma atrial natriuretic peptide was significantly decreased after the tilt test. Hematocrit increased slightly in the early phase of the tilt test and was further increased by the end of the test. In contrast, plasma AM-Gly or AM-m did not change during the tilt test or the recovery period. Nitric oxide metabolites did not change, either. There were no significant relationships between plasma catecholamines and AM. Plasma brain natriuretic peptide did not change during the tilt test or the recovery period, either. These results suggest that the two molecular forms of AM, AM-m and AM-Gly in plasma, did not respond to the short term tilting stress. These findings may support the hypothesis that plasma AM is secreted in a constitutive manner from the vascular wall.