The effect of shear stress at the endothelium in the attenuation of the noradrenaline-induced constriction of the femoral vascular bed perfused at a constant blood flow was investigated in 16 anesthetized cats. It is known that the adrenergic vasoconstriction of the femoral vascular bed is considerably greater at a constant pressure perfusion than at a constant blood flow. This difference may depend on the ability of the endothelium to relax smooth muscle in response to an increase in wall shear stress. Since the shear stress is directly related to the blood flow and inversely related to the third power of vessel diameter, vasoconstriction at a constant blood flow increases the wall shear stress that is the stimulus for smooth muscle relaxation opposing constriction. On the other hand, at a constant perfusion pressure, vasoconstriction is accompanied by a decrease in flow rate, which prevents a wall shear stress increase. To reveal the effect of endothelial sensitivity to shear stress, we compared noradrenaline-induced changes in total and proximal arterial resistances during perfusion of the hind limb at a constant blood flow and at a constant pressure in vessels with intact and injured endothelium. We found that in the endothelium-intact bed the same concentration of noradrenaline at a constant flow caused an increase in overall vascular peripheral resistance that was half as large as at a constant perfusion pressure. This difference is mainly confined to the proximal arterial vessels (arteries and large arterioles) whose resistance at a constant flow increased only 0.19 ± 0.03 times compared to that at a constant pressure. The removal of the endothelium only slightly increased constrictor responses at the perfusion under a constant pressure (noradrenaline-induced increases of both overall and proximal arterial resistance augmented by 12%), while the responses of the proximal vessels at a constant flow became 4.7 ± 0.4 times greater than in the endothelium-intact bed. A selective blockage of endothelium sensitivity to shear stress using a glutaraldehyde dimer augmented the constrictor responses of the proximal vessels at a constant flow 4.6-fold (±0.3), but had no significant effect on the responses at a constant pressure. These results are consistent with the conclusion that the difference in constrictor responses at constant flow and pressure perfusions depends mainly on the smooth muscle relaxation caused by increased wall shear stress.