1. Hydrochlorothiazide was administered at two doses to Long-Evans rats for 7–10 days. Both doses resulted in an initial natriuresis and diuresis. After 1 day of treatment the natriuresis abated, but the diuresis persisted.
2. The mechanisms responsible for these chronic effects were investigated by performing clearance and micropuncture studies on all animals; collections were made from late proximal tubules and from early and late regions of distal tubules.
3. Values for total glomerular filtration rate and single-nephron filtration rate in thiazide-treated rats were not significantly different from those in control animals.
4. The delivery of sodium to the end of the proximal convoluted tubule was considerably reduced in each group of thiazide-treated rats. Although sodium delivery to the early distal tubule was also significantly lower than in control animals, the difference had disappeared by the late distal tubule.
5. It is concluded that the return of sodium excretion to control levels during chronic hyrochlorothiazide administration is a consequence of increased fractional reabsorption by the proximal tubules, secondary to a thiazide-induced sodium depletion. This results in less sodium being delivered to the nephron site at which thiazides exert their major inhibitory effect.
6. Fluid delivery to the end of the proximal convoluted tubule and to the early distal tubule was significantly reduced in thiazide-treated rats; in animals given the higher dose of diuretic it was also significantly reduced at the end of the distal tubule. Nevertheless, in both thiazide-treated groups urine flow rate was elevated, suggesting that reabsorption of water from the collecting ducts is reduced during chronic thiazide administration.