CGS 35601 is a triple vasopeptidase inhibitor (VPI) of angiotensin-converting enzyme, neutral endopeptidase, and endothelin-converting enzyme-1 with respective IC50 values of 22, 2, and 55 nM. We characterized the safety profile and toxicity of escalating doses of CGS 35601 over a 20-day period in chronically instrumented, unrestrained, conscious, male, spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Once instrumented with an arterial catheter, the SHR were placed in metabolic cages allowing daily assessment of hemodynamics and blood sampling for biochemical and hematological measurements. After a 7-day stabilization period, the SHR were divided into 2 groups: Gr. 1, (n = 13 to 18) receiving CGS 35601 at 0.01, 0.1, 1 and 5 mg kg(-1) day(-1) (continuous i.a. infusion) for 5 consecutive days/dose, followed by a 5-day washout; and Gr. 2, (n = 10) receiving vehicle (saline). The highest dose of CGS 35601 dose-dependently reduced MABP from 156 +/- 4 up to 94 +/- 5 mm Hg, whereas heart rate, metabolic, electrolytic, and hematological profiles, growth, diuresis, and renal activity were unaffected, and no hepatic or liver toxicities were observed. These results suggest that this novel triple VPI presents no safety concerns at this stage and may become of interest for the treatment of hypertension and other cardiovascular disorders. Long-term chronic experiments are needed to assess possible angioedema and increases in vascular permeability.