- The acute and chronic renal handling of salt was evaluated in age matched Sabra hypertension-prone (SBH) and hypertension-resistant (SBN) rats. Acute oral (4 ml/100 g) and intravenous (3.3 ml/100 g) isotonic saline loading in unanesthetized normotensive animals maintained on normal diet elicited a significantly lesser diuretic and natriuretic response in SBH than in SBN. Intermittent studies in metabolic cages in rats aged 5 to 21 weeks showed that both strains consumed similar amounts of salt but that SBH excreted significantly less urinary sodium than SBN (F = 40, p less than 0.001). Twenty four hour clearance studies showed a similar filtered sodium load in the two strains but a lower total and fractional sodium excretion in SBH, suggesting increased tubular reabsorption. Under conditions of water diuresis, free water clearance was similar in the two strains, suggesting the site for disparate tubular sodium handling to be distal to the thick medullary ascending limb of the loop of Henle. Acute oral saline loading and long term studies in metabolic cages in rats prepared with deoxycorticosterone-acetate (doca) and salt showed no significant differences in sodium excretion between hypertensive SBH and normotensive SBN. These findings indicate disparate renal sodium handling between SBH and SBN rats, already apparent before the onset of hypertension, which dissipates during doca-salt treatment.