Angiotensin II, the major effector molecule produced from the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis, is a vasoconstrictor contributing to hypertension. Evidence indicates, however, that angiotensin II also is a potent proinflammatory mediator with growth and remodeling effects. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown that angiotensin II blockade significantly reduces concentrations of proinflammatory mediators and oxidative stress products in numerous inflammatory models. Interruption of angiotensin II activity with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers has been beneficial for patients with inflammatory diseases. Much of this benefit occurs independent of the antihypertensive effect of angiotensin II interruption, suggesting a distinctive protective mechanism. Angiotensin II receptor blockers may represent a novel class of antiinflammatory drugs with indications far beyond cardiovascular diseases.