Vascular smooth muscle (VSM) cells from hypertensive and normotensive rat aortae and caudal arteries were isolated by enzymatic techniques, homogenized, and fractionated by differential pelleting. By these techniques, only mitochondria could be enriched more than fivefold in any one fraction. The other organelles were distributed heterogeneously in almost all fractions. Hypertensive smooth muscle enzyme distribution patterns were different from the normotensive, suggesting that changes in sedimentation characteristics had occurred. Activity of the enzyme 5’-nucleotidase increased in whole tissue homogenates and in the ‘microsomal’ fraction of aortic and caudal artery of hypertensive VSM. The lysosomal protease, cathepsin D, of hypertensive animals decreased in activity for both vascular smooth muscles while N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase and pNPPase (acid phosphatase) increased. The possibility of a functional deficiency in protein degradation causing lysosomal overloading is discussed.