1. Studies were conducted to test the hypothesis that glycerol-induced acute renal failure in rats may be mediated by 5-hydroxytryptamine.
2. The tryptophan hydroxylase inhibitor, β-chlorophenylalanine, or saline was administered for 4 days before performance of 24 h clearance studies after glycerol administration.
3. p-Chlorophenylalanine significantly reduced the nephrotoxic effect of glycerol, as evidenced by improved glomerular filtration rate, urine volume excretion and absolute sodium excretion, and reduced plasma creatinine concentration.
4. These results suggest that glycerol-induced acute renal failure may be mediated by the renovascular and/or tubular actions of 5-hydroxytryptamine.