1. The urinary excretion of active and inactive kallikrein was studied in volunteers during diuresis induced by water loading or oral frusemide and during antidiuresis induced by desamino-d-arginine-vasopressin.
2. During acute oral water loading, excretion of active kallikrein was unchanged, despite high urine flow rates and low urine osmolalities being achieved. Excretion of inactive kallikrein correlated with the urine flow rate.
3. After desamino-d-arginine-vasopressin in eight water-loaded and six normally hydrated subjects, excretion of inactive kallikrein also correlated with the urine flow rate. There were no significant changes in the excretion of active kallikrein.
4. After frusemide there was a small transient increase in excretion of active kallikrein 1–2 h after dosing which coincided with the maximum diuresis and natriuresis. Excretion of inactive kallikrein again correlated with urine flow rate but the regression relationship between the two variables was different for water-load-induced and frusemide-induced diuresis.
5. These studies do not support a role for urinary kallikrein in the modulation of the antidiuretic action of vasopressin, but suggest that it may contribute to the natriuretic action of frusemide.