1. Male Wistar rats were used to examine whether renal prostaglandins (PG) contribute to functional compensatory changes in the remaining kidney after uninephrectomy. Total urinary excretion of PGE2, PGF2α and 6-keto-PGF1α, a metabolite of PGI2, was measured before and during 11 days after surgery in uninephrectomized (UNX, n = 8) and sham-operated control (S, n = 9) rats.
2. Urine volume was increased for the UNX rats on days 2–8 after surgery, but not thereafter, and urine osmolality for UNX was decreased on post-surgery days 1–9; total urinary sodium excretion did not differ between the two groups. Urinary PGE2 excretion was decreased in the UNX rats to 50% of S rat values, except on post-surgery days 2 and 3, when values for the two groups were not significantly different. Urinary PGF2α excretion by the UNX rats was reduced to 50% of S rat values throughout the post-surgery period. In contrast, the urinary excretion of 6-keto-PG1α by the UNX rats did not differ significantly from that by the S rats, except on a single day.
3. Chronic renal functional adaptation to renal mass reduction does not depend on increased renal prostaglandin systems activity; however, increased intrarenal PGE2 activity in the remaining kidney might be a factor in compensatory adjustments during the first days after surgery.