1. It has been demonstrated that parathyroid hormone can increase adenylate cyclase activity in the rat papilla, produce a small antidiuretic effect and in vitro can interfere with the action of arginine vasopressin on water transport. Clearance studies were performed in the anaesthetized water diuretic thyroparathyroidectomized rat to evaluate further the effect of parathyroid hormone on urine concentration in the presence and absence of arginine vasopressin.
2. A maximal phosphaturic concentration of rat parathyroid hormone (2 μg/kg) reduced urine flow from 125 ± 7 to 81 ± 9 μl/min within 10 min (P < 0.01). Addition of a maximal antidiuretic concentration of arginine vasopressin (100 ng/kg) produced a delayed and diminished antidiuretic response when compared with a group of rats not pretreated with parathyroid hormone (47 ± 5 compared with 27 ± 5 μl/min; P < 0.01). However, a supramaximal arginine vasopressin concentration (1000 ng/kg) produced a maximal antidiuretic effect in the presence of parathyroid hormone.
3. To evaluate further the inhibitory effect of parathyroid hormone on arginine vasopressin-induced anti-diuresis, parathyroid hormone (2 μg/kg) was administered to one group of rats and a minimally effective arginine vasopressin concentration (7.5 ng/kg) to another group, which produced a similar antidiuretic effect. However, the subsequent effect of a maximal antidiuretic arginine vasopressin concentration (100 ng/kg) was again significantly blunted in the group pretreated with parathyroid hormone.
4. Parathyroid hormone produced only a small increase in mean plasma calcium concentration, and glomerular filtration rate was not altered by either hormone.
5. These results demonstrate that high physiological concentrations of parathyroid hormone do have a significant antidiuretic effect and can interfere with the action of arginine vasopressin. This suggests that parathyroid hormone may act as a partial agonist to arginine vasopressin in the collecting system.