Membrane potential and tension were simultaneously recorded in ileal arteries isolated from rabbits with perinephritis hypertension and from sham operated controls. Stimulation of perivascular nerves with single pulses produced excitatory junction potentials, action potentials and contraction. Setting resting tension to levels equivalent to intra-luminal pressures of 23, 70 and 114 mm Hg had no effect on the resting membrane potential, excitatory junction potential amplitude, action potential threshold or membrane time constant. The resting membrane potential in arteries from hypertensive rabbits was 3.7 mV less negative than in the shams. There were no significant changes in the action potential threshold or membrane time constant. It is suggested that the changes observed in the membrane potential may contribute to the increased responsiveness found in arteries from this model of hypertension.