1. The possible involvement of renal nerves in the diuresis and natriuresis of blood volume expansion was studied in anaesthetized rats. Acute unilateral renal denervation caused increased excretion of fluid, sodium and potassium.
2. Renal blood and plasma flows were elevated without change in filtration rate. Intracortical blood flow distribution was not affected by the denervation.
3. Blood infusion caused diuresis, natriuresis and kaliuresis in both denervated and shamdenervated kidneys, associated with comparable initial increases in filtration and decreases in renal blood flow. No change in flow distribution was found, whether or not renal nerves were intact.
4. Although the magnitude of the excretory response to hypervolaemia was greater in denervated kidneys, the temporal pattern was identical with that of sham-operated kidneys. Our data thus do not show an effect of efferent renal nerve activity on volume natriuresis.