Renal autoregulatory efficiency is compromised in angiotensin-II (AngII)-dependent Goldblatt hypertension. The current studies were performed to assess renal autoregulatory capability in AngII-infused hypertensive rats and to determine the effect of chronic candesartan cilexetil treatment on autoregulatory behavior. Rats received chronic infusion of AngII (60 ng/min) or vehicle via an osmotic minipump implanted subcutaneously in the dorsum of the neck. Selected rats received the novel AT1 receptor blocker candesartan cilexetil (1.0 mg/kg per d) in the drinking water. Systolic BP averaged 118 ± 1 mmHg (n = 34) before pump implantation. Chronic AngII infusion for 6 d increased arterial pressure to 151 ± 4 mmHg. Candesartan cilexetil administration prevented the AngII-dependent increase in systolic BP. Microvascular autoregulation experiments were performed in vitro using the blood-perfused juxtamedullary nephron technique combined with videomicroscopy. Renal perfusion pressure was set at 100 mmHg during the control period before being decreased to 65 mmHg. Afferent arteriolar diameter was measured continuously as the perfusion pressure was increased from 65 mmHg to 170 mmHg in 15-mmHg increments. Afferent arteriolar diameter in sham-treated rats was 120% of control at a perfusion pressure of 65 mmHg and decreased to 76% of the control diameter at 170 mmHg (n = 6). This behavior is consistent with normal autoregulatory behavior. Arterioles from rats receiving chronic infusion of AngII exhibited compromised renal microvascular autoregulatory efficiency. Afferent arteriolar diameter in AngII-treated kidneys varied from 103 to 100% (n = 6) of the control diameter over the same pressure range of 65 to 170 mmHg. This blunting of autoregulatory behavior was prevented by AT1 receptor blockade. In animals receiving AngII + candesartan cilexetil, stepwise changes in perfusion pressure elicited changes in afferent arteriolar diameter between 120 and 84% after 6 d of treatment (n = 6). These data suggest that chronic elevations in circulating AngII and/or the associated increase in arterial pressure impairs renal autoregulatory capability. Furthermore, inhibition of AT1 receptors with candesartan cilexetil provides protection against AngII-mediated increases in arterial pressure and prevents the associated deterioration of renal autoregulatory responsiveness.