The effects of neuropeptide Y (NPY1-36), of two analogs (Leu31-Pro34 NPY and NPY18-36) and of Peptide YY (PYY) on aldosterone and corticosterone secretions by freshly isolated rat adrenal capsule/zona glomerulosa preparations were investigated in vitro. NPY-related peptides (NPY1-36, Leu31-Pro34 NPY, NPY18-36), but not PYY, induced a dose-dependent release of aldosterone at concentrations ranging from 10(-8) to 10(-6) M. All the investigated peptides failed to significantly affect corticosterone secretion in concentrations ranging from 10(-10) to 10(-6) M (NPY1-36, NPY18-36), 10(-11) to 10(-6) M (Leu31-Pro34 NPY) or 10(-9) to 10(-6) M (PYY). Aldosterone secretion by this preparation of isolated adrenal capsule/zona glomerulosa was also significantly stimulated by high potassium levels (55 mEq) or by angiotensin II (AII) in concentrations ranging from 10(-8) to 10(-6) M. Moreover, NPY and Y1 or Y2 receptor agonists were positive aldosterone releasing agents as potent as AII. The present data support the existence of: (1) NPY binding sites of the Y3-like subtype, on rat adrenal capsule/zona glomerulosa. (2) A stimulatory effect of NPY on aldosterone production. So that the NPYergic innervation of the rat adrenal capsule/zona glomerulosa could be implicated in the multifactorial control of aldosterone production.