[en] Rat uterus maintained in situ was used as a bioassay of kinins possibly released in vivo by hyperglycaemia or insulin. Intravenous injections of bradykinin induced contractions of rat uterus which were suppressed by HOE 140, a bradykinin B-2 receptor antagonist. Des-Arg(9)-bradykinin, a kinin B-1 receptor agonist, did not elicit any response. After propranolol, the effects of bradykinin were enhanced and dose-dependent. This potentiation did not appear in adrenalectomized rats. Captopril, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, largely increased the effects of bradykinin. In animals pretreated with propranolol, captopril and atosiban, an oxytocin antagonist, intravenous infusion of glucose induced hyperglycaemia and after a delay increased the uterine contractile activity. This contractile effect of glucose was abolished by HOE 140. Infusion of insulin with glucose induced contractions of the uterus. These responses did not appear or were suppressed by HOE 140 or by soya bean trypsin inhibitor (SBTI), a plasma kallikrein inhibitor. These results are direct evidence that insulin induces a release of kinins. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.