1. Blood pressure, glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and renal plasma flow (RPF) were measured in twenty-three patients with essential hypertension and in twenty-one control subjects. Plasma renin concentration was measured in all the hypertensive patients and in fifteen control subjects.
2. GFR and RPF were similar in the hypertensive group and in the control group, whereas the renal vascular resistance was significantly higher in the hypertensive patients. GFR and RPF decreased with increasing blood pressure in both groups. Increasing age induced a further reduction in GFR and RPF in the control subjects but not in the hypertensive patients.
3. Plasma renin concentration in the hypertensive group did not differ from that in the control subjects. The concentration was not correlated to age in either the hypertensive or normal group.
4. Plasma renin index was positively correlated to GFR and RPF and inversely correlated to filtration fraction and renal vascular resistance.
5. It is concluded that GFR and RPF depend on blood pressure in both hypertensive patients and normotensive control subjects. In contrast to the control group, the age effect was negligible in the hypertensive group. It is suggested that renin release depends on changes in renal vascular resistance in the arterioles at the glomerulus and the results support the baroreceptor theory of renin release.