Diabetic nephropathy is a major cause of chronic renal failure. The evidence available indicates that renal hemodynamics are altered in clinical and experimental diabetes mellitus. In these circumstances, an increased glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is associated with albuminuria and eventually with glomerulosclerosis. We studied the renal and hemodynamic effects of long-term treatment (5 months) using an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (trandolapril, 0.7 mg/g b.w. per day) and a calcium antagonist (verapamil, 20 mg/g b.w. per day), and the combination of the two (veratran) at the same dose, on streptozotocin-diabetic uninephrectomized rats. A moderate degree of hyperglycemia (2-4 g/l) was maintained with daily insulin. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was measured monthly using the tail-cuff method. Determinations were made of urinary protein excretion, creatinine clearance, urinary electrolyte excretion and, at the end of treatment, renal and cardiac hypertrophy. MAP was similar in control and untreated diabetic rats. Trandolapril and veratran reduced MAP whereas verapamil alone had no effect on these animals. All groups showed a slight proteinuria that increased with verapamil treatment. The GFR of diabetic animals was higher than in the control group (mainly the first 2 months), except for veratran group, in which it was similar to the control value. Urinary electrolyte excretion increased in all diabetic groups with no significant differences among them. Veratran induced a protective effect against cardiac hypertrophy. None of the treatments affected renal hypertrophy. It is concluded that in a murine model of diabetes without hypertension or proteinuria, a combination of verapamil and trandolapril prevents hyperfiltration whereas verapamil alone increases proteinuria.