1. Effects of synthetic atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) on renal excretion, total renal blood flow (RBF), glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and tissue electrical admittance (reciprocal impedance, an estimate of tissue electrolytes) were determined in pentobarbitone-anaesthetized rats. GFR was measured both as inulin clearance (Cin) and as a product of renal plasma flow (RPF) and inulin extraction ratio (Ein). 2. With the lowest dose of ANP (0.35 micrograms/(kg min) I.V.) a 5-fold increase in sodium excretion occurred without measurable change in Cin, RPF x Ein nor medullary electrolyte concentration estimated from tissue electrical admittance. 3. With medium and high dosage (2 and 6 micrograms/(kg min), respectively), major and rapid increases in sodium excretion and urine flow were associated with an acute increase in Cin but not RPF x Ein. 4. The RBF increase observed in all groups of rats was not dose-related and did not parallel the natriuresis. Electrolyte concentration in the medullary tissue showed a modest transient decrease in rats given medium and high ANP doses. 5. We conclude that pronounced ANP natriuresis can develop in the absence of a measurable increase of GFR, estimated by a method not subject to urinary dead space error (RPF x Ein). The small transient decrease in medullary tissue electrolytes observed with higher peptide doses does not support solute wash-out as an important mechanism of increased sodium excretion.