Design. Previous studies that were based on daytime arterial pressure recordings indicate that lifetime treatment with captopril exacerbates the hypertensive response to a high NaCl diet in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) but has no such effect in normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. The present study used 24-h recording methods to examine the hypothesis that during the normal waking hours of rats (night-time) the hypertensive response to a high NaCl diet is exacerbated in SHR and induced in WKY rats treated with lifetime captopril. Methods. SHR and WKY rats were (1) untreated, (2), lifetime captopril treated or (3) lifetime captopril treated but removed from the treatment 2 weeks prior to exposure to a high (8%) NaCl diet. Results. Compared to untreated SHR, in SHR that were continuously treated with captopril, the high NaCl diet caused a more rapid and greater rise in arterial pressure. Discontinuation of the captopril treatment did not significantly diminish this NaCl-sensitivity. In untreated WKY rats, the high NaCl diet did not alter mean arterial pressure, but in the lifetime captopril-treated WKY rats the high NaCl diet induced a rapid rise in arterial pressure. In WKY rats, discontinuation of the lifetime captopril treatment did not diminish this NaCl-induced rise in arterial pressure, even though baseline mean arterial pressure in this group is similar to that in untreated WKY rats. Conclusions. Lifetime captopril treatment accelerates the hypertensive response to a high NaCl diet in SHR, and it induces a similar response in WKY rats. In both strains, the lifetime captopril treatment causes a change in the response that is not dependent on concurrent administration of the drug. This finding further suggests that lifetime captopril treatment causes a long-term resetting of cardiovascular response mechanisms.