Cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) at passage 4 specifically bound 70 +/- 12 fmol [3,5-3H]Tyr4-Ile5-angiotensin (Ang) II/mg protein, with a Kd of 0.9 +/- 0.36 nM. Binding was eliminated in cells preincubated with a monoclonal antibody (6313/G2) raised against the subtype AT1 of the Ang II receptor. Freshly seeded HUVECs were positive for 6313/G2 antibody by immunocytochemistry, and such immunoreactivity was still retained at passage 4. Incubation of HUVECs for 20 min with different concentrations of Ang II provoked a significant increment in Na+/K+ ATPase activity compared with controls, in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Maximal response was obtained with 1000 pM Ang II after 20 min stimulation and resulted in a 2.2-fold increment in Na+/K+ ATPase activity. This stimulation was abolished when cells were incubated with 1000 pM Ang II in the presence of 1 microM of the specific AT1 subtype inhibitor, DuP753. Moreover, preincubation of HUVECs with 6313/G2 or with 1 mM dithiothreitol also inhibited the stimulatory effect of Ang II. These results suggest that the AT1 receptor subtype mediates the Na+/K+ ATPase response to Ang II in these cells.