Studies on renal excretion of potassium in the dik-dik antelope.
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1. In a study on the renal handling of potassium by the dik-dik antelope, plasma and urine samples were analysed for potassium, sodium and creatinine concentrations and osmolality during dehydration and intra-ruminal loading of potassium solutions. 2. The fractional excretion of potassium was 0.64 during the control period and rose up to as high as 2.3 during potassium loading. Urinary osmolality and potassium concentration decreased as the urine volume increased but the total amounts of potassium excreted were independent of urine volume. 3. Potassium loading led to a steady increase in its urinary excretion but a decrease in plasma potassium concentration was observed. This observation casts doubt on the hypothesis that alterations in potassium intake produce parallel alterations in plasma potassium concentration (which supposedly stimulates or depresses potassium excretion) and thereby maintain potassium homeostasis. 4. A possible alternative signal for increased potassium excretion following increased intake is discussed.