Atrial natriuretic peptides (ANP) are released into the circulation in response to enhanced atrial stretching. These peptides not only have diuretic and natriuretic properties, but also exert a relaxing effect on the vasculature. Moreover, they antagonize the contractions induced by norepinephrine and angiotensin II. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is also a vasoactive peptide. It is widely distributed throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems. NPY is coreleased with norepinephrine by perivascular nerve endings. At high concentrations, this peptide has a direct vasoconstrictor effect. In addition, it enhances the vascular effect of various agonists, including norepinephrine and angiotensin II. Both ANP and NPY have an inhibitory effect on renin secretion. This effect may have important implications for the role of these peptides in cardiovascular regulation.