1. The dependence of atrial natriuretic factor on renal dopamine for its renal effects in man was examined in 10 healthy volunteers using the dopa decarboxylase inhibitor carbidopa.
2. Each volunteer attended on two occasions, and received an infusion of atrial natriuretic factor (4 pmol min−1 kg−1) for 60 min after pretreatment with either placebo or carbidopa orally. These were administered in random, double-blind fashion.
3. A similar increase in plasma atrial natriuretic factor concentration was seen after atrial natriuretic factor infusion on both visits.
4. Infusion of atrial natriuretic factor produced a small unsustained rise in urinary dopamine excretion. This increase in urinary dopamine excretion was blocked by carbidopa with no effect on the natriuresis.
5. Urinary guanosine 3′:5′-cyclic monophosphate excretion increased in response to the atrial natriuretic factor infusion whether placebo or carbidopa was given. Guanosine 3′:5′-cyclic monophosphate, but not dopamine, may be a mediator of the renal response to atrial natriuretic factor in man.