Angiotensin (ANG) II is not only a potent vasoconstrictor but may also be involved in the regeneration of new blood vessels. In proliferative endometrium, ANG II-like immunoreactivity was detected in glandular epithelium and stroma with negligible staining around the vascular endothelium. In contrast, in secretory endometrium intense immunostaining was seen in the perivascular stromal cells around the endometrial spiral arterioles with negligible staining of the other cell types. Quantitative receptor autoradiography using the nonselective radioligand [125I]-ANG II and subtype selective competing compounds showed that endometrium contained predominantly AT2 receptors, with relatively low expression of AT1 receptors and a novel non-AT1/non-AT2 angiotensin II recognition site that was insensitive to AT1 or AT2 selective ligands. Levels of specific [125I]-ANG II receptor binding displayed cyclic changes during the menstrual cycle, reaching a maximum in early secretory endometrium and then decreasing in mid to late secretory endometrium to levels seen in early to mid proliferative endometrium. In situ hybridization showed AT1 receptor mRNA expression in the glands and in the endometrial blood vessels. The cyclic changes in ANG II-like immunoreactivity together with expression of both the known and the novel AT receptor subtypes imply that this octopeptide may play a dual role both in the control of the uterine vascular bed and also in the regeneration of the endometrium after endometrial shedding, acting as an angiogenic and mitogenic mediator.