1. Six healthy volunteers received intravenous infusions of isotonic (0.9% NaCl) and hypertonic (3% NaCl) saline on separate days. There were no significant changes in blood pressure or forearm blood flow, despite an increase in plasma arginine vasopressin (AVP) during hypertonic saline.
2. Immediately and 10 min after passive tilting to 50°, mean forearm blood flow fell by 17.1 and 14.3% compared with the values in the supine position during isotonic saline and by 40.3 and 43.3% during hypertonic saline. Forearm vascular resistance rose by 23.6 and 17.8% with isotonic saline and by 80.2 and 88.2% with hypertonic saline for the two readings in the tilted compared with the supine position.
3. Tilting was associated with a 14.9 and 12.1% rise in diastolic blood pressure immediately and 10 min after assuming this position during hypertonic saline, and a rise of 6.4% in mean arterial pressure.
4. The results from this study are similar to those obtained previously, when small amounts of AVP were infused. They provide further evidence that AVP may have a physiological role in the postural regulation of blood pressure.