1. The effect of low-frequency stimulation of the renal nerves on renal function and renin release has been investigated. The experiments were performed in unilaterally nephrectomized, anaesthetized cats in which the nerves to the remaining kidney were sectioned.
2. When stimulation frequency was adjusted to reduce renal blood flow by approximately 15% for 15 min, glomerular filtration rate was hardly affected. The ratio sodium clearance/glomerular filtration rate was significantly reduced and plasma renin activity was significantly increased.
3. When the renal nerves were similarly stimulated in the presence of the β-adrenergic receptor blocking agent, propranolol, the glomerular filtration rate was significantly reduced and the rise in plasma renin activity was significantly inhibited. The reduction of sodium clearance/glomerular filtration rate was as great as in the control animals.
4. The results are consistent with the view that the maintenance of glomerular filtration rate, during renal nerve stimulation which reduced renal blood flow, may be mediated by the local generation of angiotensin. The results also suggest that angiotensin does not play an important role in the sodium retention associated with increased renal nerve activity.