Plasma levels of IL-6 correlate with high blood pressure under many circumstances, and ANG II has been shown to stimulate IL-6 production from various cell types. This study tested the role of IL-6 in mediating the hypertension caused by high-dose ANG II and a high-salt diet. Male C57BL6 and IL-6 knockout (IL-6 KO) mice were implanted with biotelemetry devices and placed in metabolic cages to measure mean arterial pressure (MAP), heart rate (HR), sodium balance, and urinary albumin excretion. Baseline MAP during the control period averaged 114 ± 1 and 109 ± 1 mmHg for wild-type (WT) and IL-6 KO mice, respectively, and did not change significantly when the mice were placed on a high-salt diet (HS; 4% NaCl). ANG II (90 ng/min sc) caused a rapid increase in MAP in both groups, to 141 ± 9 and 141 ± 4 in WT and KO mice, respectively, on day 2. MAP plateaued at this level in KO mice (134 ± 2 mmHg on day 14 of ANG II) but began to increase further in WT mice by day 4, reaching an average of 160 ± 4 mmHg from days 10 to 14 of ANG II. Urinary albumin excretion on day 4 of ANG II was not different between groups (9.18 ± 4.34 and 8.53 ± 2.85 μg/2 days for WT and KO mice). By day 14, albumin excretion was nearly fourfold greater in WT mice, but MAP dropped rapidly back to control levels in both groups when the ANG II was stopped after 14 days. Thus the ∼30 mmHg greater ANG II hypertension in the WT mice suggests that IL-6 contributes significantly to ANG II-salt hypertension. In addition, the early separation in MAP, the albumin excretion data, and the rapid, post-ANG II recovery of MAP suggest an IL-6-dependent mechanism that is independent of renal injury. Copyright © 2006 the American Physiological Society.