1. Diurnal changes in plasma concentrations of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), renin, angiotensin II, aldosterone, Cortisol and antidiuretic hormone were investigated in seven normal volunteers studied under standardized conditions of dietary sodium, posture and physical activity. After completion of the diurnal study serial measurements of these variables were continued during, and on recovery from, a 2 day period of severe sodium depletion.

2. Clear diurnal variations in plasma concentrations of renin, angiotensin II, aldosterone, Cortisol and antidiuretic hormone were observed.

3. Plasma ANP concentrations also varied significantly over 24 h. Values peaked about mid-day and a distinct trough in peptide concentrations occurred in the early evening. However, variations in plasma ANP values were of relatively small amplitude and not clearly independent of modest parallel shifts in sodium balance.

4. Changes in plasma ANP concentrations both within the diurnal study period and during sodium deprivation were closely and positively correlated with concomitant changes in cumulative sodium balance.

5. No simple parallel or reciprocal relationships between plasma concentrations of ANP, on the one hand, and concurrent plasma concentrations of other hormones or in the rate of urinary sodium excretion, on the other, were observed during the 25 h of the diurnal study.

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