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There is conflicting evidence for the existence of a renal sodium excretory deficit in the salt-sensitive hypertensive Dahl S (DS) rat strain. While presentation of acute sodium loads, in vivo or in vitro, suggests that DS kidneys cannot excrete sodium as efficiently as kidneys from the salt insensitive genetic control Dahl R (DR) rat strain, metabolic studies of Dahl rats on a high-sodium diet are unable to differentiate between DS and DR rats.The natriuretic response to acute sodium loads is dependent on the integrity of structures in or near the anteroventral 3rd ventricle (AV3V) region. Therefore, it was thought that an AV3V-dependent chronic sodium challenge might also uncover an excretory defect in DS rats.We have investigated the renal response of inbred Dahl S (SS/Jr) and Dahl R (SR/Jr), and Sprague-Dawley rats to 48 h of dehydration; a manoeuvre which produces hyperosmolality and hypernatremia, with its renal response dependent on the integrity of the AV3V. Inbred Dahl S, Dahl R and Sprague-Dawley rats showed identical renal electrolyte excretory responses to both dehydration and rehydration.These results are discussed in terms of the mechanism of salt-induced hypertension and dehydration natriuresis.