Our previous publication has stressed the benefits of losartan, an angiotensin II receptor blocker, on the permeability of blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood pressure during L-NAME-induced hypertension. This study reports the impacts of anti-hypertensive treatment by losartan on the brain endothelial barrier function and the arterial blood pressure, during acute hypertension episode, in experimentally diabetic hypertensive rats. Systolic blood pressure measurements were taken with tail cuff method before and during administration of L-NAME (0.5 mg/ml). We induced diabetes by using alloxan (50 mg/kg, i.p). Losartan (3 mg/kg, i.v) was given to rats following the L-NAME treatment. Acute hypertensive vascular injury was induced by epinephrine (40 mug/kg). The BBB disruption was quantified according to the extravasation of the Evans blue (EB) dye. L-NAME induced a significant increase in arterial blood pressure on day 14 in normoglycemic and hyperglycemic rats (p < 0.05). Losartan significantly reduced the increased blood pressure in hypertensive and diabetic hypertensive rats (p < 0.01). Epinephrine-induced acute hypertension in diabetic hypertensive rats increased the content of EB dye dramatically in cerebellum and diencephalon (p < 0.01) and slightly in both cerebral cortex (p < 0.05). Losartan treatment reduced the increased BBB permeability to EB dye in the brain regions of diabetic hypertensive rats treated with epinephrine (p < 0.05). This study indicates that, in diabetic hypertensive rats, epinephrine administration leads to an increase in microvascular-EB-albumin efflux to brain, however losartan treatment significantly attenuates this protein's transport to brain tissue. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.