The physiological roles of ANG-(3-4) (Val-Tyr), a potent ANG II-derived peptide, remain largely unknown. The present study 1)investigates whether ANG-(3-4) modulates ouabain-resistant Na(+)-ATPase resident in proximal tubule cells and 2) verifies whether its possible action on pumping activity, considered the fine tuner of Na(+) reabsorption in this nephron segment, depends on blood pressure. ANG-(3-4) inhibited Na(+)-ATPase activity in membranes of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) at nanomolar concentrations, with no effect in Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats or on Na(+)-K(+)-ATPase. PD123319 (10(-7) M) and PKA(5-24) (10(-6) M), an AT2 receptor (AT2R) antagonist and a specific PKA inhibitor, respectively, abrogated this inhibition, indicating that AT2R and PKA are central in this pathway. Despite the lack of effect of ANG-(3-4) when assayed alone in WKY rats, the peptide (10(-8) M) completely blocked stimulation of Na(+)-ATPase induced by 10(-10) M ANG II in normotensive rats through a mechanism that also involves AT2R and PKA. Tubular membranes from WKY rats had higher levels of AT2R/AT1R heterodimers, which remain associated in 10(-10) M ANG II and dissociate to a very low dimerization state upon addition of 10(-8) M ANG-(3-4). This lower level of heterodimers was that found in SHR, and heterodimers did not dissociate when the same concentration of ANG-(3-4) was present. Oral administration of ANG-(3-4) (50 mg/kg body mass) increased urinary Na(+) concentration and urinary Na(+) excretion with a simultaneous decrease in systolic arterial pressure in SHR, but not in WKY rats. Thus the influence of ANG-(3-4) on Na(+) transport and its hypotensive action depend on receptor association and on blood pressure.