1. Angiotensin has previously been shown to inhibit distal renal tubular sodium reabsorption. As a consequence of this, or independently, it might influence the distal handling of other electrolytes. We have therefore examined the effects of angiotensin on the distal reabsorption or secretion of a spectrum of electrolytes.
2. Standard bilateral stop-flow studies were done on anaesthetized, adrenalectomized rabbits, in which the effects of intravenous infusions of either 0·02–0·05 μg min−1 kg−1 or 1 μg min−1 kg−1 of angiotensin were compared with control stop-flow results.
3. The lower dose of angiotensin inhibited distal sodium, chloride, water and magnesium reabsorption, inhibited distal hydrogen secretion and stimulated distal potassium secretion. The higher dose of angiotensin produced these changes and additionally inhibited distal calcium reabsorption. Most of the observed changes were dose-related. The low dose of angiotensin did not significantly raise blood pressure but the high dose was pressor.
4. Changes in the stop-flow patterns induced by the higher dose of angiotensin were compatible with, and may help to explain, the changes it produced in urinary excretion of sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium in clearance studies before stop-flow. Suppression of hydrogen secretion caused by both doses of angiotensin in the stop-flow studies was also reflected by reductions in acid excretion produced by these infusion rates in additional experiments performed by clearance methods in acid-loaded, conscious rabbits.
5. The results support the view that angiotensin may have an important intrarenal role, at least in rabbits.