1. The effects of jaundice on renal and circulatory function were investigated in chronic bile duct ligated (CBDL). rats 6 days after surgery. Sham operated (SO) animals served as controls.

2. Body weight was significantly reduced, whereas blood pressure remained unaltered, 6 days after bile duct ligation when serum bilirubin had risen to 169 ± 18 (SEM) as compared with 2.8 ± 0.3 μmol/l in SO rats. When compared with control values before surgery, urinary volume had significantly increased and absolute excretion of sodium, potassium, chloride and phosphate had decreased on day 6 after CBDL. Endogenous creatinine clearance was markedly depressed when compared with SO rats. Whereas fractional excretion of potassium remained unaltered, fractional excretion of sodium and of phosphate was significantly increased.

3. Except for a significant increase in urinary thromboxane B2 (TXB2) excretion in CBDL rats, no significant changes were observed in urinary excretion of prostaglandin (PG) E2, in the synthesis of PGE2, 6-keto-PGF and TXB2 by isolated aortic tissue in vitro, nor in renal and cardiac adenosine triphosphatase activities or renal cortical mitochondrial function.

4. The adenosine triphosphate content of kidney cortex and cardiac mitochondrial function were significantly depressed in CBDL rats.

5. The results demonstrate that jaundice in CBDL rats is associated with functional and metabolic disturbances of the kidney and cardiac muscle, which may contribute to the renal and haemodynamic characteristics observed in jaundiced animals and humans.

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