Recent advances in molecular biological techniques provide us with genetic approaches for studying the renin-angiotensin system. Renin and angiotensinogen cDNAs have been cloned in several species, and the sequences are highly conserved between the species. The 5'-flanking region of the human renin gene indicated putative regulatory sequences of glucocorticoid, estrogen, progesterone, and cAMP. The 5'-flanking region of the human angiotensinogen gene also had putative regulatory sequences of glucocorticoid, estrogen, acute phase protein, and cAMP. These structures may be related to the tissue specific expression of the renin and angiotensinogen genes. In this review, expression of rat renin and angiotensinogen genes in various tissues in the following conditions are described: a) different sodium intake in the liver, kidney, and brain; b) angiotensin II and converting enzyme inhibition in the liver, kidney and brain; c) renovascular hypertension in the kidney and liver; d) aging in the liver and kidney; e) adrenal steroids in the liver, kidney and brain; f) gonadotropin and testosterone in the testes, liver and kidney; g) triiodothyronine in the liver, kidney and brain; h) nephrectomy in the liver and brain ; i) high potassium, angiotensin II, sodium intake and nephrectomy in the adrenal gland; j) transgenic animals. Our results suggest that the expression of the renin and angiotensinogen genes are regulated in a tissue-specific manner.