We have previously demonstrated that urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) is highly expressed in the aneurysmal segment of the abdominal aorta (AAA) in apolipoprotein E-deficient (apoE-/-) mice treated with angiotensin II (Ang II). In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that uPA is essential for AAA formation in this model. An osmotic minipump containing Ang II (1.44 mg/kg per day) was implanted subcutaneously into 7- to 11-month-old male mice for 1 month. Ang II induced AAA in 9 (90%) of 10 hyperlipidemic mice deficient in apoE (apoE-/-/uPA+/+ mice) but in only 2 (22%) of 9 mice deficient in both apoE and uPA (apoE-/-/uPA-/- mice) (P<0.05). Although the expansion of the suprarenal aorta was significantly less in apoE-/-/uPA-/- mice than in apoE-/-/uPA+/+ mice, the aortic diameters of the aorta immediately above or below the suprarenal aorta were similar between the 2 groups. Ang II induced AAA in 7 (39%) of 18 strain-matched wild-type C57 black/6J control mice. The incidence was significantly higher in atherosclerotic apoE-deficient (apoE-/-) mice, in which 8 (100%) of 8 mice developed AAA. Only 1 (4%) of 27 uPA-/- mice developed AAA after Ang II treatment. We conclude the following: (1) uPA plays an essential role in Ang II-induced AAA in mice with or without preexisting hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis; (2) uPA deficiency does not affect the diameter of the nonaneurysmal portion of the aorta; and (3) atherosclerosis and/or hyperlipidemia promotes but is not essential for Ang II-induced AAA formation in this model.