Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity in serum and lung tissue from both normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) was determined at six different circadian times. In WKY rats serum ACE varied significantly within 24 h, mainly due to reduced enzyme activity at 12:00 h. In SHR the 24-h profile of serum ACE did not exhibit time-dependent differences. Mean serum ACE activity over 24 h was significantly higher in WKY than in SHR. In lung tissue ACE activity did not depend on the circadian time in either strain. Mean enzyme activity in lung tissue was not different between WKY and SHR. We conclude that circadian changes in the activity of serum and tissue ACE are unlikely to play an important role in the regulation of the circadian blood pressure profile in both normotensive and spontaneously hypertensive rats.