The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of chronic angiotensin II (ANG II) infusions on ANG II content and angiotensinogen expression in the mouse kidney and the role of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT(1)R) in mediating these changes. C57BL/6J male mice were subjected to ANG II infusions at doses of 400 or 1,000 ng.kg(-1).min(-1) either alone or with an AT(1)R blocker (olmesartan; 3 mg.kg(-1).day(-1)) for 12 days. Systolic and mean arterial pressures were determined by tail-cuff plethysmography and radiotelemetry. On day 13, blood and kidneys were collected for ANG II determinations by radioimmunoanalysis and intrarenal angiotensinogen expression studies by quantitative RT-PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. ANG II infusions at the low dose elicited progressive increases in systolic blood pressure (135 +/- 2.5 mmHg). In contrast, the high dose induced a rapid increase (152 +/- 2.5, P < 0.05 vs. controls, 109 +/- 2.8). Renal ANG II content was increased by ANG II infusions at the low dose (1,203 +/- 253 fmol/g) and the high dose (1,258 +/- 173) vs. controls (499 +/- 40, P < 0.05). Kidney angiotensinogen mRNA and protein were increased only by the low dose to 1.13 +/- 0.02 and 1.26 +/- 0.10, respectively, over controls (1.00, P < 0.05). These effects were not observed in mice infused at the high dose and those receiving olmesartan. The results indicate that chronic ANG II infusions augment mouse intrarenal ANG II content with AT(1)R-dependent uptake occurring at both doses, but only the low dose of infusion, which elicited a slow progressive response, causes an AT(1)R-dependent increase in intrarenal angiotensinogen expression.