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Pinacidil is a new vasodilating compound claimed to increase renal perfusion and function. A preliminary study showed that pinacidil did not sustain renal perfusion through a period of increasing renal vascular resistance in pig-to-rabbit renal xenotransplantation. Accordingly, the effect of pinacidil on renal function in conscious catheterized rats was studied. Pinacidil 0.12-0.18 mg/kg i.v. caused a moderate reduction in mean arterial blood pressure (14-17 mmHg), a decrease in inulin and PAH clearances (50-65%), and sodium and water retention. The sodium clearance/lithium clearance ratio decreased, suggesting increased sodium reabsorption in the distal nephron during pinacidil administration. Thus the results are in accord with those obtained with several other vasodilators, but not with those obtained in mongrel dogs during pinacidil administration.