Plasma renin activity (PRA) is a well-established biomarker for assessing the efficacy of various antihypertensive agents such as direct renin inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs). PRA measurements are obtained through the detection and quantification of angiotensin I (Ang I) produced by the action of renin on its natural substrate angiotensinogen. The most accepted and reproducible method for PRA measurement uses an antibody capture Ang I methodology that employs specific antibodies that recognize and protect Ang I against angiotensinase activities contained in plasma. The amount of Ang I is then quantified by either radioimmunoassay (RIA) or enzyme immunoassay (EIA). In the current report, we describe the optimization of a novel homogeneous immunoassay based on the AlphaScreen technology for the detection and quantification of antibody-captured Ang I using AlphaLISA acceptor beads in buffer and in the plasma of various species (human, rat, and mouse). Ex vivo measurements of renin activity were performed using 10 microl or less of a reaction mixture, and concentrations as low as 1 nM Ang I were quantified. Titration curves obtained for the quantification of Ang I in buffer and plasma gave similar EC(50) values of 5.6 and 14.4 nM, respectively. Both matrices generated an equivalent dynamic range that varies from approximately 1 to 50 nM. Renin inhibitors have been successfully titrated and IC(50) values obtained correlated well with those obtained using EIA methodology (r(2)=0.80). This assay is sensitive, robust, fast, and less tedious than measurements performed using nonhomogeneous EIA. The AlphaLISA methodology is homogeneous, does not require wash steps prior to the addition of reagents, and does not generate radioactive waste.