Adrenomedullin is a strong vasorelaxing peptide discovered in pheochromocytoma tissue. Monocrotaline, a pyrrolizidine alkaloid derived from Crotalaria spectabilis, is known to cause pulmonary hypertension. To test the hypothesis that adrenomedullin plays a role similar to that of atrial natriuretic peptide or brain natriuretic peptide in modulating right ventricular responses to pulmonary hypertension, we have compared concentrations of immunoreactive rat adrenomedullin and adrenomedullin messenger RNA levels in tissues of monocrotaline treated rats with those of control rats. We also measured the effect of pulmonary hypertension on plasma level of the peptide. The concentrations of adrenomedullin immunoreactivity in right ventricle and plasma were significantly higher in monocrotaline treated rats than in control rats. The messenger RNA level of adrenomedullin in right ventricle was also higher in monocrotaline treated rats than in control rats. These results suggest that adrenomedullin participates in the mechanism to counteract the high blood pressure in pulmonary circulation.