Amnion and chorion cells from human fetal membranes have been cultured. Chorionic cells secrete renin whereas amnionic cells do not. Renin is secreted by chorionic cells as an inactive form that can be activated by trypsin treatment or acid dialysis. The antigenic and enzymatic properties of activated chorionic renin and kidney renin are similar. Incorporation of [35S]methionine in the culture demonstrates that chorionic renin is secreted as a high molecular weight form, 54K. This 54K inactive renin could represent the proenzyme.