Bradykinin infusion has been shown to improve glucose metabolism in non-insulin-dependent diabetic subjects (NIDD). Therefore, we tested the following hypothesis: inhibition of Kininase II, the bradykinin (BK) degrading enzyme, by captopril may also improve glucose metabolism in NIDD. Immediate effects of captopril on total body and peripheral glucose disposal were examined in five normotensive, normal weight NIDD and compared with five NIDD control subjects, well matched for age, weight and degree of fasting hyperglycaemia. The euglycaemic insulin clamp technique was employed in combination with the forearm catheter technique. After 90 min of insulin infusion a single dose of 25 mg captopril was administered orally, whereas in the control group a placebo was given. Captopril lead to a significant rise in total body glucose disposal and forearm glucose uptake, while in the control group no change was observed. Simultaneously, captopril lead to reduction in muscular release of lactate and pyruvate. We conclude that these results demonstrate the stimulatory effect of captopril on insulin-induced glucose disposal of the whole body, which appears to be a result of increased glucose utilization by peripheral tissues. Because of the described insulin-like activity of bradykinin, the concomitant accumulation of local kinins by captopril-induced inhibition of kininase II may represent an attractive hypothesis to explain the generated data sufficiently.