1. A novel vasoconstrictor peptide, neuropeptide Y (NPY), has been identified in considerable quantities in the renal artery and kidney. Within the kidney, NPY was confined to the cortex and corticomedullary interface, the regions where the juxtaglomerular apparatus is most numerous.
2. In the isolated perfused rat kidney, NPY caused a prompt dose-dependent increase in perfusion pressure and reduction in flow, with only a small fall in glomerular filtration rate (GFR). In spite of the reduced renal perfusion, a dose-dependent natriuresis was observed. This response contrasts to the response of this preparation to noradrenaline, which causes sodium reabsorption.
3. The presence of a potent vasoconstrictor and natriuretic peptide within the rat renovascular system suggests that it may play a significant role in the control of renal function.