To investigate the role of the sympathetic nervous system in angiotensin II (AngII)-stimulated medial and neointimal smooth muscle cell (SMC) replication, we sympathectomized rats with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) in which the left carotid artery was injured by a balloon catheter. Balloon injury is associated with a loss of specific [<sup>3</sup>H]-prazosin binding. AngII (250 ng/kg/min), infused 2 weeks after balloon injury of the rat left carotid artery, increased systolic blood pressure by approximately 70 mm Hg. There was no effect of 6-OHDA on this pressor response. AngII increased the cumulative 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling fraction (LF) in the uninjured right carotid media and the injured left carotid neointima as compared to controls (5.7 ± 1.6% vs. 0.4 ± 0.1%, p < 0.05; 10.6 ± 0.9% vs. 5.0 ± 0.8%, p < 0.05, respectively). 6-OHDA decreased the AngII-induced increase in LF in the media of the uninjured right carotid artery (AngII/6-OHDA 0.9 ± 0.2% vs. AngII 5.7 ± 1.6%, p < 0.05). 6-OHDA did not decrease the AngII-induced increase in LF in both the injured left carotid media and neointima at 4 weeks after balloon injury. The effects of chemical sympathectomy were comparable with those obtained 12 weeks after balloon injury. Thus, the data show that the sympathetic nervous system mediates the AngII-induced increase in SMC DNA synthesis, but only in the uninjured carotid media. This indicates a differential regulation of AngII-induced SMC replication in injured and uninjured vessels.