1. Sham-operated and bilaterally nephrectomized rats were injected intravenously with glycyl-l-leucine, glycylglycine and glycylsarcosine, and the concentrations of these dipeptides in plasma and muscle, liver, renal cortex (in the sham-operated rats) and intestinal mucosa at various intervals were determined.
2. Initially the plasma concentrations of glycyl-leucine and glycylglycine were higher in nephrectomized than in control rats but later the concentrations were similar in both groups of rats. The disappearance of these two dipeptides from plasma was almost complete within 20 min, and their plasma half-lives were not changed remarkably by nephrectomy. In contrast, nephrectomy markedly impaired disappearance of glycylsarcosine from plasma and prolonged its half-life from 7·6 min to 52·0 min.
3. Glycyl-leucine and glycylglycine were not detected in tissues of control rats injected with these dipeptides, but glycylsarcosine was recovered from all four tissues examined. Nephrectomy resulted in greater accumulations of glycylsarcosine in tissues and the appearance of glycylglycine in the remaining three tissues and glycyl-leucine in muscle.
4. Enterectomy did not have a remarkable effect on plasma half-life of glycylglycine but it allowed recovery of this dipeptide from renal cortex, liver and muscle.
5. It is concluded that kidneys and small intestine are involved in the disposition of circulating dipeptides, but in their absence other tissues may assume a greater role in this regard. However, renal clearance appears to be an important route for the disposition of dipeptides which are poorly hydrolysed by body tissues.