1. The specific antidiuretic agonist [4-valine, 8-d-arginine]vasopressin (VDAVP) was administered intravenously to seven conscious dogs at a rate of 10 ng min−1 kg−1. Cardiac output (aortic electromagnetic flowmeter), mean arterial pressure and regional blood flows (radioactive microspheres) were measured before and after 30 min of infusion.

2. Mean arterial pressure fell from 89.9 ± 4.5 (mean ± sem) to 82.3 ± 5.9 mmHg and cardiac output increased from 115.4 ± 8.7 to 163.0 ± 14.4 ml min−1 kg−1. Total peripheral resistance decreased from 41.6 ± 3.7 to 27.8 ± 3.6 units and heart rate increased from 79.2 ± 5.9 to 123.2 ± 5.9 beats/min. Blood flow increased significantly in the myocardium, fat and skeletal muscle vascular bed.

3. In another group of six dogs subjected to a similar protocol 24 h after bilateral nephrectomy, mean arterial pressure fell from 102.2 ± 5.3 to 82.7 ± 3.4 mmHg and cardiac output increased from 125.6 ± 3.0 to 171.2 ± 4.0 ml min−1 kg−1. Total peripheral resistance decreased from 39.3 ± 3.4 to 23.4 ± 1.3 units and heart rate increased from 84 ± 4.9 to 113.3 ± 4.3 beats/min. The increase in cardiac output and the fall in total peripheral resistance did not differ significantly between intact and anephric dogs. Regional blood flow responses differed in some respects in the two groups studied, but there was no evidence that the vasodilatory action of VDAVP depended on the presence of the kidneys.

4. These results indicate that the vasodilatation elicited by the antidiuretic agonist VDAVP in intact dogs is limited to a few vascular beds. Furthermore, this vasodilatation appears to be independent from the renal V2-vasopressin receptors.

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