Worldwide, the highest morbidity and mortality results from such cardiovascular diseases as hypertension, myocardial infarction, cardiac and renal failure, as well as stroke. Since the cardiovascular system and its regulation is quite complex, study of these disorders has been grossly limited to whole organism models. As a result, in recent years, transgenic technology has played a significant role in the discovery of specific gene products for cardiovascular regulation and disease aetiology. Genetic manipulation in rats and mice has altered the expression of numerous genes. In this review, some of the important new genetically modified animals (i.e. transgenic models) with alterations in hormone and second messenger systems involved in cardiovascular regulation are summarized.