The effect of intracerebro-ventricular treatment with 6-hydroxydopamine on blood pressure and heart rate was studied in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto controls (WKY). When measured with the indirect tail-cuff method, the development of hypertension was found to be markedly inhibited in 6-OHDA treated SHR, while blood pressure was slightly lower in treated WKY. Heart rate was lower in both strains, although the greatest effect was found in SHR. In contrast, direct measurement via an arterial cannula indicated significantly lower blood pressure in 6-OHDA treated SHR only. Heart rate was by this method found to be not different between the SHR groups, but was increased in treated WKY. These results indicate that the mild stress of indirect blood pressure determinations has a marked influence on the results found.