1. A dynamic column superfusion system has been developed for the study of renin secretion in rat renal cortical cells.
2. Cells were isolated by collagenase digestion and mechanical dispersion, before suspension with polyacrylamide beads and superfusion with oxygenated physiological medium.
3. Renin was detected in the superfusate by incubation of fractions with excess nephrectomized sheep substrate in the presence of angiotensinase inhibitors followed by radioimmunoassay of the angiotensin I generated.
4. Optimized methodology included a purposebuilt polytetrafluorethylene flow cell, a 1 h equilibration to achieve a steady state, 5 min eluate collections, a 15 min stimulatory and a 30 min recovery period, and duration of perfusion of up to 270 min.
5. Significant increments above baseline renin release were seen with the stimuli of adrenaline, noradrenaline and isoprenaline. These could be demonstrated with concentrations of 10−9 mol/l (adrenaline), 5 × 1O−10 mol/l (noradrenaline) and 1O−9 mol/l (isoprenaline).
6. This technique has significant advantages over previous methods for the study of renin secretion in vitro at the cellular level. It is reproducible and sensitive, and avoids many of the limitations of static cell suspension and kidney slice methods.