An in vitro model comprised of primary cultures of brain microvessel endothelial cells was used to investigate angiotensin II (Ang II) effects on blood-brain barrier fluid-phase endocytosis. The effects of Ang II, saralasin, sarathrin, bradykinin (BK), and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) on brain microvessel endothelial cell fluid-phase endocytosis were determined using the fluorescent marker, Lucifer yellow. Nanomolar concentrations of saralasin (a partial Ang II agonist) stimulated brain microvessel endothelial cell endocytosis by 30% whereas Ang II treatment enhanced Lucifer yellow uptake by 20%. Sarathrin (an Ang II antagonist) had no effect on Lucifer yellow uptake. Nanomolar concentrations of BK and PMA also stimulated Lucifer yellow uptake by the brain microvessel endothelial cell by 40 and 95%, respectively. Stimulatory effects of Ang II and saralasin on Lucifer yellow uptake by brain microvessel endothelial cells could be completely blocked by pretreatment with either sarathrin or indomethacin (an inhibitor of prostaglandin synthesis). In contrast, the effects of neither BK nor PMA on brain microvessel endothelial cell uptake of Lucifer yellow ere altered by indomethacin pretreatment. Results indicated that Ang II, saralasin, BK, and PMA produce similar stimulatory effects on brain microvessel endothelial cell fluid-phase endocytosis with only Ang II and saralasin, producing increases in brain microvessel endothelial cell fluid-phase endocytosis that appeared to be mediated by prostaglandins.